The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-135) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Nathalie Vande Walle, Cindy Kenis contributed equally to this work.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
The study concept was defined by CK, JF, HW and KM. All authors designed and managed the study. Data acquisition was performed by NVW, CK, PH and KM. JPL carried out the statistical analysis. All authors contributed in the data analysis and interpretation. The manuscript was prepared by NVW, CK, PH, JPL, KVP and KM. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
In the older population falls are a common problem and a major cause of morbidity, mortality and functional decline. The etiology is often multifactorial making the identification of fall predictors essential for preventive measures. Despite this knowledge, data on falls within the older cancer population are limited. The objective of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of falls within 2 to 3 months after cancer treatment decision and to identify predictors of falls (≥1 fall) during follow-up.
Older patients (70 years or more) with a cancer treatment decision were included. At baseline, all patients underwent geriatric screening (G8 and Flemish Triage Risk Screening Tool), followed by a geriatric assessment including living situation, activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), fall history in the past 12 months, fatigue, cognition, depression, nutrition, comorbidities and polypharmacy. Questionnaires were used to collect follow-up (2–3 months) data. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify predictors for falls (≥1 fall) during follow-up.
At baseline, 295 (31.5%) of 937 included patients reported at least one fall in the past 12 months with 88 patients (29.5%) sustaining a major injury. During follow-up (2–3 months), 142 (17.6%) patients fell, of whom 51.4% fell recurrently and 17.6% reported a major injury. Baseline fall history in the past 12 months (OR = 3.926), fatigue (OR = 0.380), ADL dependency (OR = 0.492), geriatric risk profile by G8 (OR = 0.471) and living alone (OR = 1.631) were independent predictors of falls (≥1 fall) within 2–3 months after cancer treatment decision.
Falls are a serious problem among older cancer patients. Geriatric screening and assessment data can identify patients at risk for a fall. A patient with risk factors associated with falls should undergo further evaluation and intervention to prevent potentially injurious fall incidents.
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- Fall predictors in older cancer patients: a multicenter prospective study
Nathalie Vande Walle
Katrien Van Puyvelde
- BioMed Central
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