New tool finds 15 connections to increased fractures in SNF residents

Share this content:

A new risk assessment has shown promise in predicting fracture risk among institutionalized long-term care residents, according to new research published Thursday.

The Fracture Risk Assessment in Long-term Care, or FRAiL, was developed by researchers at Boston's Hebrew SeniorLife as a response to other fracture risk tools that focused primarily on community-dwelling seniors.

The model was developed using a cohort of nearly 420,000 nursing home residents, identifying which factors stood out as unique to facility-dwelling seniors. The team's research found 15 characteristics in the model were linked to an increased risk of hip fracture among residents, including dementia severity, ability to walk independently, prior falls, wandering and diabetes.

The model also showed that for both male and female residents, increased independent mobility upped the risk of a fall and fracture. That's compared to seniors living in their own homes, who often have a higher risk when they're less independent.

“This practical model could be used to screen NH residents for fracture risk and to target intervention strategies,” the researchers wrote of the FRAiL model. Their findings appear in The Journals of Gerontology.