Purpose/Objectives: To determine the extent to which falls occur in older adult patients with cancer; to identify how falls relate to depression, age, functional status, and cognition; and to develop a model for predicting falls.
Design: Descriptive, prospective, quantitative.
Setting: Patients in the Senior Adult Oncology Program at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute.
Sample: 165 patients aged 70 years or older with any diagnosis of cancer, treatment type, and stage.
Methods: Data were collected during a one-time interview using a comprehensive geriatric assessment consisting of the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) Scale, Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Scale, Geriatric Depression Scale, Mini-Mental State Examination, and a fall assessment.
Main Research Variables: Falls, functional status, depression, cognition, age, and gender.
Findings: IADL scores were found to be a predictor of falls while controlling for age and ADL status. An IADL score of 22 predicts a 21% risk of a fall. Fall risk increases to 81% at an IADL score of 9.
Conclusions: IADL score is a predictor of falls in this older adult population with cancer. ADL scores are not a predictor of falls when IADL is included in the model.
Implications for Nursing: Nurses must play a vital role in conducting fall screening and risk assessments for older adults with cancer.