Correlation between fall risk increasing drugs (FRIDs) and fall events at a rehabilitation hospital

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Silvana Castaldi
Niccolò Principi
Davide Carnevali
Navpreet Tiwana
Anna Pietronigro
Marco Mosillo
Matteo Marrazzo
Roberto Colombo
Gianluca Maria Avanzi
Stefano Corna


Falls; FRIDs; rehabilitation.


Background and aim

Falls and fall-related injuries are a major public health issue which needs global attention due to its clinical and socioeconomic impact. Important risk factors for falls are polypharmacy and the assumption of so-called Fall Risk Increasing Drugs (FRIDs). Aims of our study were to investigate the associations between falls and the use of medications among inpatients by conducting a retrospective case-control study in a rehabilitation hospital in Northern Italy in 2018.


A Conditional Logistic Regression was performed to analyze the impact that 13 types of FRIDs individually and the number of administrated FRIDs had on the risk of falling. A second regression model was obtained adjusting the case-control matching for CIRS, Morse and Barthel scores.


We identified 148 cases and 444 controls. 3 types of FRIDs were significantly correlated (p < 0,05) with an increased risk of falling: Antipsychotics, Antidepressants, Diuretics.

Antidepressants were the only type of FRID significantly correlated (p=0,008) even in the model adjusted for CIRS, Morse and Barthel scores.

The unadjusted model showed that the addition of one type of FRID to therapy was significantly associated with the fall event (p<0.05).


Assumption of drugs, in particular antidepressant and polypharmacy, can play a role in hospital falling. The fall risk assessment tools available, suffer from low specificity and sensitivity and do not assess these risk factors. A holistic approach with a multidimensional evaluation of the patient through screening tools, functional assessment tools and a full medical evaluation should be pursued to improve prediction.


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