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Erica Preisch

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



Thesis Committee Chairperson

Veronica Valazza DNP, MBA, RN, NE-BC


Polypharmacy, falls, Charlson Comorbiditiy index


Purpose: The purpose of this research is to investigate if a relationship exists between polypharmacy and falls within the long-term care setting. Design: A quantitative, nonexperimental, retrospective chart review with a correlational design was utilized in this study.

Methods: A data collection nurse employed by the facility completed a researcher-designed data collection spreadsheet by reviewing resident’s demographics, diagnoses, recent electronic medication administration records, and nursing notes throughout a ninety-day look-back period. This data collection spreadsheet was then emailed to the researcher for statistical analysis using SPSS software and Pearson Correlation Coefficients were obtained.

Findings: A total of fifty residents were analyzed during this process. Both number and type of medications were reviewed showing that 37 out of 50 residents were experiencing polypharmacy. The average number of medications prescribed for all residents was found to be 7.14. Of the fifty residents reviewed, eighteen had experienced falls within the past ninety days. There were no statistically significant results found with relation to polypharmacy and falls. There was a weak positive correlation between Pearson’s of those with polypharmacy and any type of falls was found to be a negative relationship with a weak correlation of 0.289.

Discussion: There was found to be a weak-moderate correlation between polypharmacy and falls within the long-term care facility being studied.