(HealthDay News) – About 20% of patients who are newly admitted to a nursing home sustain a fall during their stay.

Natalie E Leland, PhD, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues analyzed data from 230,730 individuals admitted to nursing homes in 2006 who did not have a prior nursing home stay and who completed a Minimum Data Set (MDS) at >30 days following admission.

The researchers found that 21% of this cohort (47,750 individuals) experienced at least one fall in the nursing home at the time of the MDS assessment. Lower rates of falls were seen in nursing homes with higher certified nursing assistant staffing (adjusted odds ratio, 0.97; 95% confidence interval, 0.95–0.99).

“A fall can delay or permanently prevent the patient from returning to the community, and identifying risk of falling is essential for implementing fall prevention strategies and facilitating successful discharge back to the community,” Leland said in a statement.

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