Depression and risk for adverse falls in older home health care patients. Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Accidental Falls
  • Depression
  • Home Care Services


  • Because falls are highly prevalent, harmful events for older adults, identification of patients at risk is a high priority for home health care agencies. Using routine administrative data, we demonstrated that patients with depressive symptoms on the Outcome and Assessment Information Set are at risk for falls. A prospective case-control study that matched 54 patients who experienced an adverse fall with 854 controls showed that patients who fell had twice the odds of being depressed (odds ratio = 1.90, 95% confidence interval = 1.01 to 3.59). Bowel incontinence, high medical comorbidity, stair use, injury and poisoning, memory deficit, and antipsychotic medication use were also predictors, but no association was found for antidepressant medications. These data suggest the potential benefit of including depression screening for multifactorial fall prevention interventions.

publication date

  • October 2008



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC3684963

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3928/19404921-20081001-03

PubMed ID

  • 20077999

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 245

end page

  • 51


  • 1


  • 4