PURPOSE:Falls are a modifiable source of morbidity for older adults with cancer, yet are underassessed in oncology practice. In this secondary analysis of a nationwide cluster-randomized controlled trial, we examined characteristics associated with patient-oncologist conversations about falls, and whether oncologist knowledge of geriatric assessment (GA) resulted in more conversations.METHODS:Eligible patients (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02107443) were age ≥ 70 years, had stage III/IV solid tumor or lymphoma, were being treated with noncurative treatment intent, and ≥ 1 GA domain impairment. Patients in both arms underwent GA. At practices randomly assigned to the intervention arm, oncologists were provided a GA summary with management recommendations. In both arms, patients had one clinical encounter audio-recorded, transcribed, and coded to categorize whether a conversation about falls occurred. Generalized linear mixed models adjusted for arm, practice site, and other important covariates were used to generate proportions and odds ratios (ORs) from the full sample.RESULTS:Of 541 patients (intervention N = 293 and usual care N = 248, mean age: 77 years, standard deviation: 5.3), 528 had evaluable audio recordings. More patients had conversations about falls in the intervention versus usual care arm (61.3% v 10.3%, P <.001). Controlling for the intervention and practice site, history of falls (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.3 to 3.6; P =.005) and impaired physical performance (OR, 4.7; 95% CI, 1.7 to 12.8; P =.002) were significantly associated with patient-oncologist conversations about falls.CONCLUSION:GA intervention increased conversations about falls. History of falls and impaired physical performance were associated with patient-oncologist conversations about falls in community oncology practice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy