Background: Elderly people are at the highest risk for falling. This study was conducted to examine the characteristics of the elderly who were hospitalized for treatment of fall-related injuries. Method: Secondary analysis was applied to retrieve data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance database. Descriptive and correlational research designs were applied to compare the characteristics of patients in terms of gender, age, season, patterns of treatments, and hospitals. Results: Falls account for 3.29% of total elderly hospitalizations, and elderly patients represent 47.5% of overall hospitalizations due to falls in Taiwan. Elderly hospitalization for falling was more prevalent in females in northern Taiwan, and the rate increased as age increased. Most elderly patients hospitalized for falling (61.8%) were treated in orthopedics departments, and 64.6% of these cases were diagnosed as fractures. The length of stay varied from 1 to 110 days (mean = 8.67). There were more hospitalizations due to falls in winter than in other seasons. The average medical expense was 56,355.11 NTD ($1761) per person. Age was positively correlated with the length of stay and cost for hospitalization. Conclusion: This study utilized actual nationwide data to provide a profile of elderly patients treated for falling in Taiwan. Based on the results of this study, fall prevention should especially target the female elderly, and should be given more emphasis during the winter season, in terms of clinical and policy applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology