Systematic Review

Falls Among Psychiatric Inpatients: A Systematic Review of Literature


Campus Kortenberg, University Psychiatric Centre, University of Leuven, Kortenberg, Belgium


Department of Biomedical Sciences, Center for Clinical Psychiatry, Leuven, Belgium


Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, Leuven, Belgium


Antwerp Health Law and Ethics Chair, AHLEC University Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium

Alpha Psychiatry 2022; 23: 217-222
DOI: 10.5152/alphapsychiatry.2022.21735
Read: 1073 Downloads: 346 Published: 04 August 2022

Background: Falls among psychiatric inpatients are common and have significant health consequences. The purpose of this study is to systematically review the published research on risk factors and consequences.

Methods: PubMed and Embase were searched for relevant studies. A total of 18 studies were included in this systematic review. The heterogeneity and low quality of the reviewed studies limit the generalizability of the results.

Results: Several intrinsic and extrinsic factors are reported. Some of these factors are unique to psychiatric inpatients such as acute mental state, psychotic symptoms, and bipolar disorder leading to cognitive distortions and risk-taking; psychotropic medications inducing side effects like sedation and orthostatic hypotension; while others are similar to those found among general medical inpatients.

Conclusion: Given the clinical importance of a fall and its implication on residential treatment, there is a need for targeted fall prevention programs. In order to further identify and quantify these risks and consequences, prospective research and additional study designs, describing and recording risk factors in a systematic and standardized way with the underlying etiological processes in mind, are needed.

Cite this article as: Carpels A, de Smet L, Desplenter S, de Hert M. Falls among psychiatric inpatients: A systematic review of literature. Alpha Psychiatry. 2022;23(5):217-222.

EISSN 2757-8038