Mary E. Tinetti, MD; Wen-Liang Liu, MPH; Sandra F. Ginter, RNC
▪ Objective: To evaluate the association between mechanical restraint use and the occurrence of injurious falls among persons residing in skilled nursing facilities.
▪ Design: Prospective observational cohort study.
▪ Setting: Twelve skilled nursing facilities in southern Connecticut.
▪ Participants: The 397 persons who were mobile and unrestrained at baseline.
▪ Measurements: Restraint use was defined both as the number of days restrained and as "never," "intermittently," or "continually" restrained. The primary outcome measure was the occurrence of a serious fall-related injury. Analyses were done on the entire cohort as well as on a subgroup hypothesized as having a high risk for falls.
▪ Main Results: During one year of follow-up, 122 subjects (31%) became restrained, 83 intermittently and 39 continually. A serious fall-related injury was experienced by 5% (15 of 275) of unrestrained, compared with 17% (21 of 122) of restrained, subjects (chi-square= 12.478; P < 0.001). Restraint use remained independently associated with serious injury after adjusting for other factors, both in the entire cohort (adjusted odds ratio, 10.2; 95% Cl, 2.8 to 36.9) and in the high-risk subgroup (adjusted odds ratio, 6.2; Cl, 1.7 to 22.2). Among the 305 subjects who experienced two or fewer falls, the proportion having a serious injury was 15% for restrained subjects compared with 4% for unrestrained subjects (difference in proportions 11%, Cl, 4% to 17%), whereas the comparable proportions for the 92 subjects who experienced more than two falls were 20% and 16%, respectively. Results were similar in the high-risk subgroup.
▪ Conclusions: Mechanical restraints were associated with continued, and perhaps increased, occurrence of serious fall-related injuries after controlling for other injury risk factors. Study results suggest the need to consider whether restraints provide adequate, if any, protection.
Tinetti ME, Liu W, Ginter SF. Mechanical Restraint Use and Fall-related Injuries among Residents of Skilled Nursing Facilities. Ann Intern Med. ;116:369–374. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-116-5-369
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1992;116(5):369-374.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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