OBJECTIVE: To compare the fall history between older adults with and without a previous stroke and to identify the determinants of falls and fear of falling in older stroke survivors.
DESIGN: Case-control observational study.
SETTING: Primary teaching hospital.
PARTICIPANTS: Seventy-five patients with stroke (mean age ± standard deviation, 66 ± 7 years) and 50 age-matched control participants with no previous stroke were tested.
METHODS: Fall history, fear of falling, and physical, cognitive, and psychological function were assessed. A χ2 test was performed to compare characteristics between groups, and logistic regression was performed to determine the risk factors for falls and fear of falling.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Fall events in the past 12 months, Fall Efficacy Scale-International, Berg Balance Scale, Functional Ambulation Category, Fatigue Severity Scale, Montreal Cognitive Assessment, and Patient Healthy Questionnaire-9 were measured for all participants. Fugl-Meyer Motor Assessment was used to quantify severity of stroke motor impairments.
RESULTS: Twenty-three patients and 13 control participants reported at least one fall in the past 12 months (P = .58). Nine participants with stroke had recurrent falls (≥2 falls) compared with none of the control participants (P < .01). Participants with stroke reported greater concern for falling than did nonstroke control participants (P < .01). Female gender was associated with falls in the nonstroke group, whereas falls in the stroke group were not significantly associated with any measured outcomes. Fear of falling in the stroke group was associated with functional ambulation level and balance. Functional ambulation level alone explained 22% of variance in fear of falling in the stroke group.
CONCLUSIONS: Compared with persons without a stroke, patients with stroke were significantly more likely to experience recurrent falls and fear of falling. Falls in patients with stroke were not explained by any of the outcome measures used, whereas fear of falling was predicted by functional ambulation level. This study has identified potentially modifiable risk factors with which to devise future prevention strategies for falls in patients with stroke.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III.
Participants and methods: Purposive sampling of 36 breast cancer patients who have completed chemotherapy and agreed to participate in semi-structured in-depth interviews. A constant comparative method and thematic analysis were used to analyze the interviews.
Results: Data were categorized into six main themes: know nothing of chemotherapy; fear of chemotherapy; patients' beliefs in alternative treatments; symptom management; staying healthy after chemotherapy; and concerns of patients after chemotherapy.
Conclusion: Despite complaints about the bad experiences of their chemotherapy-induced side-effects, these patients still managed to complete the entire course of chemotherapy. Moreover, there is a need for a clinical pharmacy service in the oncology clinic setting in Malaysia in order to provide relevant information to help patients understand the chemotherapy received.