Functional Measures for Fall Risk in the Acute Care Setting: A Review

Alaina M. Bassett, Ka Chun Siu, Julie A. Honaker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This review explores the evidence pertaining to the use of functional ability measures for fall risk in the acute care setting. We included studies from six bibliographic databases that investigated fall risk functional ability measures in hospitalized older adults (≥55 years). We utilized the following search terms: acute care, subacute care, critical care, inpatient, fall, and fall prevention. Nineteen articles met the inclusion criteria. Timed “Up and Go” (TUG) was identified as a feasible fall risk functional ability measure for clinicians; it demonstrated clinical performance of fair sensitivity (56%-68%) and good specificity (74%-80%). Clinical performance of other measures (Berg Balance Scale and Functional Reach test) was not as favorable as the TUG. Functional ability measures are underutilized in the acute care setting, potentially due to limited knowledge and training on administration. Combining functional measures with subjective screening tools may optimize performance and accuracy of identifying fall risk identification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1469-1488
Number of pages20
JournalWestern journal of nursing research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • acute care
  • fall risk
  • functional measures
  • geriatrics
  • hospital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'Functional Measures for Fall Risk in the Acute Care Setting: A Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this