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Effects of early mental state changes on physical functions in elderly patients with a history of falls

BMC Geriatr. 2023 Sep 15;23(1):564. doi: 10.1186/s12877-023-04274-6.


BACKGROUND: Fear of falling is a potential consequence for older adults who have experienced a fall. Whether such psychological concerns related to falls, in turn, affect physical function? Especially those who have a history of falling but have not been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, or both. This study aimed to clarify the effects of early psychological changes on the physical function of older patients.

METHODS: The 111 participants with falling history were divided into the poor physical function (PPF) group with the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) ≤ 9 and the good physical function (GPF) group with SPPB > 9. Their physical function was assessed through 4-m gait speed (4MGS), five times sit-to-stand test (FTSST), grip strength, and Timed Up and Go tests TUGT. Their mental state was assessed by the self-rating anxiety/depression scale (SAS/SDS).

RESULTS: (1) SAS/SDS scores were negatively correlated with the SPPB score, gait speed, and maximum grip strength (males). (2) Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the SPPB score was subject to such independent influence factors: cerebrovascular disease (OR = 11.805; P = 0.005), normal ratio of grip strength (OR = 0.046; P = 0.016), TUGT (OR = 1.717; P < 0.001), and SDS score (OR = 1.154; P = 0.008). (3) The area under the ROC curve was 0.699 (0.601, 0.797) for SAS score, with a sensitivity of 0.776 and a specificity of 0.547; the AUC was 0.694 (0.596, 0.792) for SDS score, with a sensitivity of 0.586 and a specificity of 0.755.

CONCLUSIONS: In older adults with a history of falls without a diagnosis of anxiety or depression, higher SAS/SDS scores were associated with worse fall-related physical function, and there was a statistically significant correlation between the two. This may indicate a risk of falling again in the future.

PMID:37715166 | DOI:10.1186/s12877-023-04274-6

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