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The Influence of Cancer on Falls in Community Dwelling Elderly
Gerontological Society of America (2009)
  • Sandra Spoelstra, Grand Valley State University
Cancer survivors are living longer, and encounter physical, psychosocial, and economic impacts until the end of life. However studies examining whether a cancer diagnosis alters the rate of falls in elderly survivors are rare. This retrospective, longitudinal cohort study examined community dwelling elderly in a home based waiver program to identify if individuals with a diagnosis of cancer experience falls at a higher rate than those without cancer. The Minimum Data Set in a State in the Midwest was used to examine cancer, age, gender, race and ethnicity, poor vision, reduced ADLs, reduced IADLS, cognitive skill, incontinence, pain, or depression in 7448 individuals in the year 2007. This study found a highfrequency of falls, with 2125 having a fall; and of those 38% in the cancer group had a fall and 27% in the non-cancer group had a fall. The final hierarchical linear model suggests fall risk in community dwelling elderly included: race, gender, ADLS, incontinence, depression, and pain. While cancer was not a statistical predictor of an increased rate of falls in this study, findings on the rate of falls in cancer patients are clinically significant and needs consideration. Consequently, fall prevention interventions will become more important as the elderly cancer survivor population increases in size and the need to contain health care costs continues to rise.
This study will be used to examine the consequences of falls to determine the increased rates of injuries as a consequence of falls when cancer and non cancer patients are compared.
  • Falls,
  • Cancer Aging
Publication Date
Fall 2009
Orlando, FL
Citation Information
Sandra Spoelstra. "The Influence of Cancer on Falls in Community Dwelling Elderly" Gerontological Society of America (2009)
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