Predictors of long-term function in older community-dwelling people who have presented to an emergency department after a fall: A cohort study

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Abstract

Aim:

To identify factors predictive of function 12 months after a fall and emergency department (ED) presentation.

Methods:

This was a prospective cohort study with 608 older people who had a fall. After presentation and discharge from the ED, a baseline assessment was initially undertaken and then repeated after 12 months. The Human Activity Profile Adjusted Activity Score (HAP-AAS) at the 12-month follow-up assessment was the functional outcome measure.

Results:

Over the follow-up period, 37.3% (95% CI 33.4, 41.2) of participants declined in their HAP-AAS score. Increased age, pre-index fall functional impairment, poorer mobility/balance, and sustaining falls and severe injuries over the 12-month follow-up period were some of the factors predictive of a lower HAP-AAS score.

Conclusion:

This study highlights the importance of preventing falls in the 12 months after discharge from an ED. Some of the factors identified as being predictive of lower function are the same as those previously found to be predictive of falls.

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