The relationship between fall incidents and place of birth in residential aged care facilities: a retrospective longitudinal cohort study

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Background: Older populations in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) in many immigrant-receiving countries are now being increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD). CALD populations require tailored social and health services to support their needs and improve health outcomes. Falls among the elderly are common and can have significant health and psychosocial consequences. There is some evidence to suggest that country of birth may influence risk of falls among older people, but such evidence has been scarce. This study aimed to determine the association between place of birth and the incidence of falls in RACFs.

Methods: Routinely collected incident data relating to 5,628 residents aged ≥ 65 years in 25 RACFs in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia were used. RACF residents were classified into two groups, Australia-born (N = 4,086) and overseas-born (N = 1,542). Overseas-born RACF residents were further categorised into two subgroups: overseas-English-speaking-country (N = 743) and overseas-non-English-speaking-country (N = 799). Outcomes measures were rate of all falls, injurious falls and falls requiring hospitalisation. Multilevel binary negative regression was used to examine the relationship between fall risk and place of birth.

Results: Incidence rates of all falls, injurious falls and falls requiring hospitalisation were 8.62, 3.72 and 1.07 incidents per 1,000 resident days, respectively, among the Australia-born RACF residents, but were higher at 11.02, 4.13 and 1.65, respectively, among the overseas-born RACF residents. Within those born overseas, fall rates were higher among the overseas-non-English-speaking-country-born residents (11.32, 4.29 and 2.22, respectively) than those overseas-English-speaking-country-born (10.70, 3.96 and 1.05, respectively). After controlling for confounders, the overseas-born RACF residents overall experienced a higher risk of all three types of falls (incidence rate ratios: [IRR] = 1.278, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.131, 1.443; injurious falls: IRR = 1.164 [95% CI = 1.013, 1.338]; falls requiring hospitalisation: IRR = 1.460 [95% CI = 1.199, 1.777]) than the Australia-born RACF residents. Among the overseas-born RACF residents, males, respite residents and those overseas-non-English-speaking-country-born experienced higher rates of falls.

Conclusions: Fall incidence in RACFs varies significantly by place of birth. With increasingly diverse RACF populations, fall intervention and prevention programs should consider cultural and linguistical backgrounds of RACF residents. Greater attention to understand the mechanisms for the differences by place of birth in risk profiles is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number257
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Aged
  • Male
  • Humans
  • Accidental Falls
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Homes for the Aged
  • Hospitalization
  • Place of birth
  • Aged care
  • Cultural and linguistical diversity
  • Falls incidence
  • Fall risk


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