Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2023

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Angela Andrews


Timed Up and Go Test, falls, fall risk assessment, geriatric psychiatry, inpatient


Falls are the most reported injury within the geriatric population. Behavioral health patients have the most injurious falls, with falls impacting multiple things such as staffing, cost, injury, and quality of life for the patient (Ocker et al., 2020). Currently, the standardized fall assessment for new patients upon admission is the Morse Fall Scale (MFS). This fall assessment was intended to assess the level of fall risk for patients who are on an acute medical floor during their hospital stay. The Timed Up and Go test (TUG) is a fall assessment that has been used in geriatric patients to assess their level of fall risk but has not been specifically used in a psychiatric geriatric setting to determine if the assessment tool would be more suitable than the MFS. The purpose of this project is to determine if the TUG is a more appropriate tool to aid in identifying fall risk amongst the inpatient psychiatric geriatric population in addition to using the MFS. After the demonstration, education, and implementation of the TUG test by nurses, a survey was conducted with the nurse to determine if the TUG test would be beneficial to use in the mental health geriatric unit. The survey suggests that 20 nurses (95.24%) think that the screening tool is effective in identifying falls. There are 2 nurses (9.52%) that believe the TUG screening tool can be used independently when screening for falls. Twenty-one nurses (100%) reported that one of the benefits of the TUG screening was that it is directly aimed at the geriatric population. Sixteen nurses (80%) reported the benefit of having an extra tool to assess patients for falls upon arrival. Fifteen nurses (71.42%) reported that one of the biggest challenges is the decreased length of hospital stay, so the tool is not used often related to longer hospitalizations. Twenty nurses (95.24%) reported that the TUG screening tool is easy to follow and comprehend, and 21 nurses (100%) reported that the screening tool is time efficient while doing an admission or assessing a patient post-fall. If the nurses continue to use the TUG test on the unit, there could be data collected from the fall rates that sshowimprovement in patients’ falls.

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