As the physical consequences of accidental falls in the elderly are well-researched, the long-term associations between falls and quality of life and related concepts are less known. The aim of this study was to prospectively examine the long-term relations between falls and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and life satisfaction (LS) over six years in the general elderly population. One thousand three hundred and twenty-one subjects (aged 60-93 years), from the general population in the south of Sweden, were included in a baseline assessment and a follow-up after six years. HRQoL was measured with the SF-12 and LS with the life satisfaction index A (LSI-A). The differences in mean scores between fallers at baseline (n=113) and non-fallers were statistical analyzed. Furthermore, the prediction of falls on the outcomes was analyzed using a multivariate linear regression model adjusted for multiple confounding factors. Fallers scored significant lower in HRQoL and LS at baseline and after six years, compared to non-fallers, especially in the SF-12 physical component (p=
Accidental falls among residents of homes for the elderly have only received scanty notice in the literature. During a period of 15 months, 296 falls among 1,856 residents of homes for the elderly were analyzed prospectively. The age-specific incidences for falls and fractures of the neck of the femur which are treated in hospital were found to be higher for residents of homes for the elderly as compared with elderly persons living at home in the age group 65-85 years. Residents of homes for the elderly who constitute 7% of all ages over 65 years are responsible for 21% of all accidental falls and 32% of all the lower limb fractures treated in hospital.
OBJECTIVES: To determine if young adults with a history of typical absence epilepsy (AE) in childhood have a greater risk of accidental injury than controls with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). To assess the nature and severity of these injuries. METHODS: All patients with AE or JRA diagnosed between 1977 and 1985, who were 18 years or older at the onset of the study, were identified from review of pediatric electroencephalographic records for the province of Nova Scotia (AE) or review of the medical records database at the only tertiary care pediatric center for the province (JRA). Fifty-nine (86%) of 69 patients with AE and 61 (80%) of 76 patients with JRA participated in an interview in 1994 or 1995, assessing nature, severity, and treatment of prior accidental injuries. Patients with AE were further questioned about injuries sustained during an absence seizure. RESULTS: Sixteen (27%) of 59 patients with AE reported accidental injury during an absence seizure, with risk of injury being 9% per person-year of AE. Most injuries (81%) occurred during anti-epileptic drug therapy. Although the majority of injuries did not require treatment, 2 (13%) of 16 patients required minor treatment and 2 (13%) of 16 were admitted to hospital. The risk of accidental injury resulting from an absence seizure in person-years at risk was highest in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (45%), moderate in juvenile AE (14%), and lowest in childhood AE (3%). Patients with AE had a greater number of overall accidental injuries than those with JRA (P
169 "injury situations" involving 61 patients were registered in a nursing home during one year. Four patients were sent to hospital. A few patients had several falls. Men were more prone to injury than women. Age itself seemed to be of no importance. Patients on shortterm admittance were at high risk. In general patients with dementia were not at higher risk but suffered the more serious injuries and were also involved in various episodes of patient violence. The risk of injuries is generally high in nursing homes. A certain risk must be accepted, but it is important to introduce prophylactic measures. A larger nursing staff might have prevented some of the situations.
Comment In: Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1991 Oct 10;111(24):29991948912
The occurrence of adverse events (AEs) in care settings is a patient safety concern that has significant consequences across healthcare systems. Patient safety problems have been well documented in acute care settings; however, similar data for clients in home care (HC) settings in Canada are limited. The purpose of this Canadian study was to investigate AEs in HC, specifically those associated with hospitalization or detected through the Resident Assessment Instrument for Home Care (RAI-HC).
A retrospective cohort design was used. The cohort consisted of HC clients from the provinces of Nova Scotia, Ontario, British Columbia and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
The overall incidence rate of AEs associated with hospitalization ranged from 6% to 9%. The incidence rate of AEs determined from the RAI-HC was 4%. Injurious falls, injuries from other than fall and medication-related events were the most frequent AEs associated with hospitalization, whereas new caregiver distress was the most frequent AE identified through the RAI-HC.
The incidence of AEs from all sources of data ranged from 4% to 9%. More resources are needed to target strategies for addressing safety risks in HC in a broader context. Tools such as the RAI-HC and its Clinical Assessment Protocols, already available in Canada, could be very useful in the assessment and management of HC clients who are at safety risk.
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The paper summarizes the results of a scoping review that focused on the occurrence of adverse events experienced by homecare patients.
The literature search covered published and grey literature between 1998 and 2007. Databases searched included: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and EBM REVIEWS including the Cochrane Library, AGELINE, the National Patient Safety Foundation Bibliography, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Patient Safety Net bibliography.
Papers included research studies, review articles, policy papers, opinion articles and legal briefs. Inclusion criteria were: (i) homecare directed services provided in the home by healthcare professionals or caregivers; (ii) addressed a characteristic relevant to patient experienced adverse events (e.g. occurrences, rates, definitions, prevention or outcomes); and (iii) were in English. Data extraction A pool of 1007 articles was reduced to 168 after analysis. Data were charted according to six categories: definitions, rates, causes, consequences, interventions and policy.
Eight categories emerged: adverse drug events, line-related, technology-related, infections and urinary catheters, wounds, falls, studies reporting multiple rates and other. Reported overall rates of adverse events ranged from 3.5 to 15.1% with higher rates for specific types. Few intervention studies were found. Adverse events were commonly associated with communication problems. Policy suggestions included the need to improve assessments, monitoring, education, coordination and communication.
A standardized definition of adverse events in the homecare setting is needed. Prospective cohort studies are needed to improve estimates and intervention studies should be undertaken to reduce the risk that homecare patients will experience adverse events.
Comment In: Int J Qual Health Care. 2010 Apr;22(2):75-720144941
This study assessed the current trend in the number and incidence (per 100,000 persons) of fall-induced severe head injuries among the very old adults in Finland, an EU-country with a well-defined white population of 5.2 million, by taking into account all persons 80 years of age or older who were admitted to our hospitals for primary treatment of such injury in 1970-2004. The number of Finns aged 80 years or older with a fall-induced severe head injury increased considerably between the years 1970 and 2004, from 60 (women) and 25 (men) in 1970 to 745 (women), and 350 (men) in 2004. The relative increases were 1142 and 1300%, respectively. Across the study period, the age-adjusted incidence of injury also showed a clear increase from 1970 to 2004, from 168 to 506 in women (201% increase), and from 172 to 609 in men (254% increase). A similar finding was observed in age-specific incidences. If the age-adjusted incidence of injury continues to rise at the same rate as in 1970-2004 and the size of the 80 year old or older population of Finland increases as predicted (approximately 2.2-fold increase during the coming 25 years), the number of fall-induced severe head injuries in this population will be about 3.4-fold higher in the year 2030 than it was in 2004. In Finnish persons 80 years of age or older, the number of fall-induced severe head injuries shows an alarming rise with a rate that cannot be explained merely by the demographic changes of the population. The finding underscores an increasing influence of falls on well-being of our elderly persons, and therefore, effective fall-prevention actions should be initiated to control this development.
Although fall-induced injuries among older adults are said to be a major public health concern in modern societies with aging populations, reliable epidemiologic information on their secular trends is limited.
We determined the current trend in the number and incidence (per 100,000 persons) of fall-induced severe cervical spine injuries (fracture, cord injury, or both) of older adults in Finland, a European Union country with a well-defined white population of 5.2 million, by taking into account all persons aged 50 years or older who were admitted to all Finnish hospitals for primary treatment of such injury in 1970-2004. Similar patients aged 20-49 years served as a reference group.
The number and raw incidence of fall-induced cervical spine injury among Finns aged 50 years or older rose considerably between the years 1970 and 2004, from 59 (number) and 5.2 (incidence) in 1970 to 228 and 12.0 in 2004. The relative increases were 286% and 131%, respectively. Throughout the study period, the age-standardized incidence of injury was higher in men than women, and showed a clear increase in both sexes in 1970-2004 from 8.5 to 17.4 in men (105% increase), and from 2.8 to 6.4 in women (129% increase). A similar finding was observed in the age-specific incidences of the study group. In the reference group, the annual number and incidence of injury decreased slightly over time. Assuming that the observed increase in the age-standardized or age-specific injury incidence continues in Finns aged 50 years or older and the size of this population increases as predicted, the annual number of fall-induced cervical spine injuries in this population will be about 100% higher in the year 2030 (about 400 injuries annually) than it was during 2000-2004 (about 200 injuries annually).
In Finnish persons aged 50 years or older, the number of fall-induced severe cervical spine injuries seems to show an alarming rise with a rate that cannot be explained merely by demographic changes. The finding underscores an increasing influence of falls on health and well-being of our older adults; therefore, wide-scale fall-prevention measures should be urgently adopted to control this development.
The utilisation of data mining methods has become common in many fields. In occupational accident analysis, however, these methods are still rarely exploited. This study applies methods of data mining (decision tree and association rules) to the Finnish national occupational accidents and diseases statistics database to analyse factors related to slipping, stumbling, and falling (SSF) accidents at work from 2006 to 2007. SSF accidents at work constitute a large proportion (22%) of all accidents at work in Finland. In addition, they are more likely to result in longer periods of incapacity for work than other workplace accidents. The most important factor influencing whether or not an accident at work is related to SSF is the specific physical activity of movement. In addition, the risk of SSF accidents at work seems to depend on the occupation and the age of the worker. The results were in line with previous research. Hence the application of data mining methods was considered successful. The results did not reveal anything unexpected though. Nevertheless, because of the capability to illustrate a large dataset and relationships between variables easily, data mining methods were seen as a useful supplementary method in analysing occupational accident data.
To study the risk of fractures associated with anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics, we conducted a case-control study. Cases were all subjects with any fracture during the year 2000 (n = 124,655). For each case, three controls (n = 373,962) matched on age and gender were randomly drawn from the background population. The exposure was use of any anxiolytic, sedative, or hypnotics. Adjustments were made for a number of potential confounders. Most anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics were associated with a limited increase in the risk of fractures. There was a dose-response relationship, and drugs with a half-life longer than 24 h were associated with a trend toward a higher relative risk of fractures than drugs with a shorter half-life. Both current use (last use 24 h tended to be associated with a higher risk of fractures than drugs with a shorter half-life. This points to a dose-dependent risk of, for example, falls leading to fractures. However, the increased risk of fractures with past use may suggest an effect of the condition for which the drug was prescribed rather than the drug per se (confounding by indication).