Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 479–485

Predictors of falls among community-dwelling older adults with cancer: results from the health and retirement study

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00520-013-2000-7

Cite this article as:
Chen, TY. & Janke, M.C. Support Care Cancer (2014) 22: 479. doi:10.1007/s00520-013-2000-7



Cancer symptoms and the side effects of its treatment can increase the risk of falling among older adults with cancer. This study aimed to identify predictors of falling and recurrent falls among community-dwelling older adults with cancer over a 2-year period.


Data from the Health and Retirement Study were used (N = 1,630) in this study. The sample had a mean age of 75 years and was mostly female (53 %) and white (89 %). Descriptive analyses, correlation analyses, and logistic regressions were used to analyze the data.


The results showed that functional limitations (OR = 1.13, 95 % CI = 1.03–1.24), the full-tandem stance (OR = 1.48, 95 % CI = 1.01–2.16), and self-reported difficulties with balance (OR = 1.50, 95 % CI = 1.23–1.83) at time 1 were significant predictors of falling at time 2. Only difficulties with self-reported balance (OR = 1.84, 95 % CI = 1.44–2.36) at time 1 were found to be a predictor of recurrent falls at time 2.


The consequences of falling can complicate the course of cancer treatment. Measures of functional limitations and balance have the potential to be quick and useful clinical tools to detect falling among seniors with cancer living in communities.


CancerFallsBalance difficulty

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Aging StudiesUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Recreation and Leisure StudiesEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA