Dr. Arthur Williams publishes a case-control study of pediatric falls

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Arthur R. Williams, PhD, MA, MPA and colleagues recently published an article titled “A Case–Control Study of Pediatric Falls Using Electronic Medical Records.” Dr. Williams is a professor in the USF College of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management.

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 Messmer, P. R., Williams, P. D. and Williams, A. R. (2013), A Case–Control Study of Pediatric Falls Using Electronic Medical Records. Rehabilitation Nursing, 38: 73–79. doi: 10.1002/rnj.73


The purpose of this study was to retrospectively review Humpty Dumpty Falls Scale (HDFS) scores using electronic medical records (EMR) reports at a pediatric hospital to determine characteristics related to falls, injuries, and performance of the HDFS tool. The specific research question was: Is there a significant difference in HDFS total scores between cases (children who fell) and controls (those who did not fall)? Results from 74 cases and 242 controls revealed the number of falls did not differ significantly between those who obtained high HDFS scores and those who obtained low scores. HDFS sensitivity was 57%, specificity was 39%. The pediatric patients who fell were mostly oriented and ambulating; falls with injury did not exceed 19%. Future case-control studies should use larger sample sizes across multiple institutions with EMR capability.


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