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Circumstances of falls and fear of falling in community-dwelling older adults with cancer: Results from a mixed-methods study



Circumstances of falls and fear of falling in community-dwelling older adults with cancer: Results from a mixed-methods study



Journal of Geriatric Oncology 10(1): 105-111



Falls are common among older adults and are of added concern among those with cancer due to cancer and its treatments. Knowledge on circumstances surrounding falls and fear of falling is vital for understanding how various factors may precipitate falls and for informing development of effective fall prevention interventions. The aim of the study was to explore circumstances of falls and fear of falling in community-dwelling older adults with cancer. A convergent-parallel mixed-methods design was used in this cross-sectional study. Community-dwelling older adults (aged ≥65) with cancer who experienced ≥1 fall in the past year were recruited (N = 100) from the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada. Data collection included patient self-reported survey and open-ended interview. Descriptive statistics for quantitative data and thematic analyses for qualitative data were conducted. One hundred sixty-eight falls were recalled. Falls occurred mostly indoor, during the day and during normal, non-hazardous activities. Many participants had a fall when not using their walking aid. While some participants (15%) attributed their falls to bad turns or tripping, others blamed themselves for being careless or foolish. Themes from qualitative interviews included 'cognitive appraisal of falls', 'mobility-related fall reasons', and 'opportunity for health-teaching'. Circumstances of falls seem to be similar to those in the general geriatric population. Strategies for fall prevention and management used in the general geriatric population may potentially benefit this population as well. Attention may be warranted specifically regarding medication review, health-teaching on fall safety, home safety evaluation, and balance training referral.

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Accession: 065728053

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30170991

DOI: 10.1016/j.jgo.2018.08.005


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