Among older adults, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and falls are associated. Generic patient-reported outcomes measures (PROMs) assess individual’s HRQoL. The role for PROMs, a potential tool for predicting subsequent falls, remains under-explored. Our primary aim was to determine whether a baseline PROMs assessment of HRQoL may be a useful tool for predicting future falls.
A secondary analysis of a 12-month randomized clinical trial (RCT) of a home-based exercise program among 344 adults (67% female), aged ≥ 70 years, with ≥ 1 falls in the prior year who were randomized (1:1) to either a home-based exercise program (n = 172) or usual care (n = 172). A negative binomial regression model with total falls count as the dependent variable evaluated the main effect of the independent variable–baseline HRQoL (measured by the Short-Form-6D)–controlling for total exposure time and experiment group (i.e., exercise or usual care) for the total sample. For the usual care group alone, the model controlled for total exposure time.
For the total sample, the rate of subsequent total falls was significantly predicted by baseline HRQoL (IRR = 0.044; 95% CI [0.005–0.037]; p = .004). For the usual care group, findings were confirmed with wider confidence intervals and the rate of prospective total falls was significantly predicted by baseline HRQoL (IRR = 0.025; 95% CI [0.001–0.909]; p = .044).
These findings suggest the ShortForm-6D should be considered as part of falls prevention screening strategies within a Falls Prevention Clinic setting.
Trial Registrations ClinicalTrials.gov Protocol Registration System. Identifier: NCT01029171; URL: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01029171. Identifier: NCT00323596; URL: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00323596.