Development of a multivariable prognostic PREdiction model for 1-year risk of FALLing in a cohort of community-dwelling older adults aged 75 years and above (PREFALL)



Abstract Background Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in older adults, and attention to falls prevention is imperative. Prognostic models identifying high-risk individuals could guide fall-preventive interventions in the rapidly growing older population. We aimed to develop a prognostic prediction model on falls rate in community-dwelling older adults. Methods Design: prospective cohort study with 12 months follow-up and participants recruited from June 14, 2018, to July 18, 2019. Setting: general population. Subjects: community-dwelling older adults aged 75+ years, without dementia or acute illness, and able to stand unsupported for one minute. Outcome: fall rate for 12 months. Statistical methods: candidate predictors were physical and cognitive tests along with self-report questionnaires. We developed a Poisson model using least absolute shrinkage and selection operator penalization, leave-one-out cross-validation, and bootstrap resampling with 1000 iterations. Results Sample size at study start and end was 241 and 198 (82%), respectively. The number of fallers was 87 (36%), and the fall rate was 0.94 falls per person-year. Predictors included in the final model were educational level, dizziness, alcohol consumption, prior falls, self-perceived falls risk, disability, and depressive symptoms. Mean absolute error (95% CI) was 0.88 falls (0.71–1.16). Conclusion We developed a falls prediction model for community-dwelling older adults in a general population setting. The model was developed by selecting predictors from among physical and cognitive tests along with self-report questionnaires. The final model included only the questionnaire-based predictors, and its predictions had an average imprecision of less than one fall, thereby making it appropriate for clinical practice. Future external validation is needed. Trial registration ( NCT03608709 ).
Date made available2021

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