Association of Longitudinal Mobility Levels in the Hospital and Injurious Inpatient Falls

Erik Hoyer, Daniel Young, Victor Ke, Jia Yi Zhang, Elizabeth Colantuoni, Holley Farley, Anton Dahbura, Kimia Ghobadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Falls are one of the most common adverse events in hospitals, and patient mobility is a key risk factor. In hospitals, risk assessment tools are used to identify patient-centered fall risk factors and guide care plans, but these tools have limitations. To address these issues, we examined daily patient mobility levels before injurious falls using the Johns Hopkins Highest Level of Mobility, which quantifies key patient mobility milestones from low-level to community distances of walking. We aimed to identify longitudinal characteristics of patient mobility before a fall to help identify fallers before the event. Conducting a retrospective matched case-control analysis, we compared mobility levels in the days leading up to an injurious fall between fallers and nonfallers. We observed that patients who experienced an injurious fall, on average, spent 28% of their time prefall at a low mobility level (Johns Hopkins Highest Level of Mobility levels 1-4), compared with nonfallers who spent 19% of their time at a low mobility level (mean absolute difference, 9%; 95% confidence interval, 1%-16%; P = 0.026; relative difference, 44%). This suggests that assessing a patient's mobility levels over time can help identify those at an increased risk for falls and enable hospitals to manage mobility problems more effectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-255
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024


  • Goal-Directed Care
  • Injurious Falls
  • Longitudinal Mobility
  • Nursing Care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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