Service de gériatrie, Hôpital Bretonneau, APHP, Paris, Pole de gérontologie clinique, CHU Nantes ; Gérontopôle Autonomie Longévité Pays de la Loire, Service de gérontologie clinique, CHU Angers ; Gérontopôle Autonomie Longévité Pays de la Loire
Most falls in the elderly result from an interaction between several risk factors in. Interventions targeting risk factors for a fall have been effective in the prevention of falls. The aim of this prospective study was to identify pattern of risk factors in hospitalized elderly subjects for fall in a geriatric acute care unit.
Methods: over a 5-year period, 471 patients hospitalized in the geriatric unit of Angers Hospital following a fall were randomly assigned to 471 patients without any fall history. The prevalence of risk factors for a fall, and the existence of predisposing and precipitating factors were compared between the two groups.
Results: risk factors for fall, namely gait unsteadiness, hip disorders, peripheral neuropathy, convulsions and syncope, were significantly more prevalent in the group of fallers compared to the controls. Two faller patterns were proposed: (1) patients with depression and receiving benzodiazepine and neuroleptic, and (2) patients with poor vision and osteoarticular disorders. Two further factors, namely parkinsonism and foot disorders, seemed to be sufficient to explain a fall.
Conclusion: this study for the first time has identified risk factors patterns of fall in elderly patients hospitalized in a geriatric acute care unit, which can be used to implement diagnosis and treatment strategies.