1. Arena, Sara K. PT, DScPT
  2. Rataj, Jillian SPT
  3. Thompson, Melissa SPT
  4. Peterson, Edward L. PhD
  5. Bennis, Shawn MSN, RN


Abstract: The prevalence of medication use among Americans is reported at 48% with significant linear increases with advancing age. A link between specific medication use and fall risk has been established. The purposes of this study are to describe (a) medication categories and (b) medication prevalence associated with fall risk prescribed to individuals case-managed by physical therapists (PTs) in home healthcare (HHC). Descriptive retrospective chart reviews of age, gender, ethnicity, diagnosis, and prescribed medication profiles were obtained from electronic health records (EHRs) of individuals case-managed by PTs at one HHC agency. Descriptive statistics of patient characteristics and medications were analyzed. The chi-square test compared difference by age, gender, and ethnicity. Ninety-five EHRs met criteria for inclusion. Eight hundred and nineteen total medications, comprising 403 medications and 34 medication categories were identified. The highest medication categories prescribed were pain relief (70.5%); cardiovascular agents (65.3%); vitamins, minerals, therapeutic nutrients, and electrolytes (60.0%); gastrointestinal (53.7%); and heart andcholesterolagents (45.3%). Fall risk indicators were identified including medication from a fall risk category (4.2%) and polypharmacy (90.5%). Individuals case-managed by PTs in the HHC setting are prescribed medications from a variety of medication categories including fall risk indicators. This study emphasizes the importance of PTs' review of medications during an initial examination to identify potential adverse events, including falls, which may occur as a result of medication usage.