Author ORCID Identifier


Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

First Advisor

Alexander Kirpich, Ph. D

Second Advisor

Crystal Lee, MPH


INTRODUCTION: Falls in the elderly population occur quite frequently, which happens to be a major factor that threatens their independence. Due to this, many older individuals are admitted into nursing-homes once the dependency status gets to be too much. While policies and programs exist to prevent the dilemma of falls, reported data and studies reveal that the prevalence of fall- related deaths within nursing-homes is on the rise. More information is needed to thoroughly understand the association between mortality due to fall and the epitome of healthcare surveillance within nursing-homes.

AIM: To assess the mortality risk of elderly individuals who have fallen within community- dwelling establishments while being under healthcare surveillance.

METHODS: To preliminarily query this topic, the primary utilized search engine to conduct research was Google Scholar. This allowed a plethora of similar studies to be examined in a meta- analysis approach. Along with this, sources such as the CDC and Georgia Health Department website, garnished significant intel on the many policies and procedures in place to avoid falls, especially ones that can ultimately lead to fatality. Data was obtained from the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office of nursing home fatalities, which was requested through the Public Health Information Portal (PHIP), an online system where data can be requested through the Georgia Department of Public Health. This data was organized within Excel spreadsheets.

RESULTS: Having performed several procedural calculations, it is safe to conclude that the younger age group, which consists of deceased patients younger than 80, account for more unnatural deaths as opposed to those 80 and older. This includes ~52% accidental, ~81% Homicide, and ~75% suicidal deaths. Although women account for the majority of the population, men ultimately have more unnatural deaths. This includes ~54% accidental, ~59% Homicides, and ~83% suicidal deaths. Even though ethnicity and race were not significant factors, there were greater odds of homicidal deaths within the Non-White group in relation to the White group.

DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: There is a need to focus on reliable procedures and policies to enforce equal care for all community-dwelling residents. Differences in sex, age, and in some instances, race, can contribute to an increase of maltreatment and/or malpractice within community-dwelling establishments.


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