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1.  A person-centred approach to health promotion for persons 70+ who have migrated to Sweden: promoting aging migrants’ capabilities implementation and RCT study protocol 
BMC Geriatrics  2015;15:10.
Background
There are inequities in health status associated with ethnicity, which may limit older foreign-born persons’ ability to age optimally. Health promotion for older persons who have experienced migration is thus an area of public health importance. However, since research related to this issue is very limited, the study ‘Promoting Aging Migrants’ Capabilities’ was initiated to improve our understanding. The study aims to implement and evaluate a linguistically adapted, evidence-based, health-promoting intervention with a person-centred approach for two of the largest groups of aging persons who have migrated to Sweden: persons from Finland and persons from the Balkan Peninsula.
Methods/Design
This study has a descriptive, analytical, and experimental design. It is both a randomised controlled trial and an implementation study, containing the collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data. The setting is an urban district in a medium-sized Swedish city with a high proportion of persons who were born abroad and whose socio-economic status is low. The intervention comprises four group meetings (‘senior meetings’) and one follow-up home visit made by a multi-professional team. For the randomised controlled trial, the plan is to recruit at least 130 community-dwelling persons 70 years or older from the target group. Additional persons from involved organisations will participate in the study of the implementation. Both the intervention effects in the target group (outcome) and the results of the implementation process (output) will be evaluated.
Discussion
The results of this forthcoming randomised controlled trial and implementation study may be useful for optimising implementation of person-centred, health-promoting initiatives for older persons who have experienced migration. It is also hoped that this combined study will show that the capabilities for optimal aging among older persons born in Finland and the Balkan countries can be improved in the Swedish healthcare context.
Trial registration
The trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov April 10, 2013, identifier: NCT01841853.
doi:10.1186/s12877-015-0005-4
PMCID: PMC4333269
Aging; Emigrants and immigrants; Health education; Randomised controlled trial; Intervention studies; Activities of daily living; Finland; Balkan Peninsula
2.  A meta-analysis of prospective studies on the role of physical activity and the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease in older adults 
BMC Geriatrics  2015;15:9.
Background
The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is increasing as the global population ages. Given the limited success of pharmaceuticals in preventing this disease, a greater emphasis on non-pharmaceutical approaches is needed. The aim of this study was to quantify the association between Alzheimer’s disease and physical activity in older adults over the age of 65 years.
Methods
A meta-analytic approach was used to determine if physical activity reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in individuals 65 years or older. Some evidence indicates that physical activity may improve cognitive function in older adults, while other evidence is inconclusive. The purpose of this study was to examine if prevention of Alzheimer’s disease is possible if started at a later age. The precise brain changes that occur with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease are not fully known, and therefore may still be influenced by preventative measures even in advancing age. Determining if physical activity can inhibit the onset of the disease at any age may motivate individuals to adopt an “it’s never too late” mentality on preventing the onset of this debilitating disease. Longitudinal studies of participants who were 65 years or older at baseline were included. A total of 20,326 participants from nine studies were included in this analysis.
Results
The fixed effects risk ratio is estimated as 0.61 (95% CI 0.52-0.73) corresponding to a statistically significant overall reduction in risk of Alzheimer’s disease in physically active older adults compared to their non-active counterparts.
Conclusion
Physical activity was associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease in adults over the age of 65 years. Given the limited treatment options, greater emphasis should be paid to primary prevention through physical activity amongst individuals at high-risk of Alzheimer’s disease, such as those with strong genetic and family history.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12877-015-0007-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12877-015-0007-2
PMCID: PMC4333880
Physical activity; Alzheimer’s disease; Older adults; Systematic review
3.  MultiComponent Exercise and theRApeutic lifeStyle (CERgAS) intervention to improve physical performance and maintain independent living among urban poor older people - a cluster randomised controlled trial 
BMC Geriatrics  2015;15:8.
Background
The ability of older people to function independently is crucial as physical disability and functional limitation have profound impacts on health. Interventions that either delay the onset of frailty or attenuate its severity potentially have cascading benefits for older people, their families and society. This study aims to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a multiComponent Exercise and theRApeutic lifeStyle (CERgAS) intervention program targeted at improving physical performance and maintaining independent living as compared to general health education among older people in an urban poor setting in Malaysia.
Methods
This cluster randomised controlled trial will be a 6-week community-based intervention programme for older people aged 60 years and above from urban poor settings. A minimum of 164 eligible participants will be recruited from 8 clusters (low-cost public subsidised flats) and randomised to the intervention and control arm. This study will be underpinned by the Health Belief Model with an emphasis towards self-efficacy. The intervention will comprise multicomponent group exercise sessions, nutrition education, oral care education and on-going support and counselling. These will be complemented with a kit containing practical tips on exercise, nutrition and oral care after each session. Data will be collected over four time points; at baseline, immediately post-intervention, 3-months and 6-months follow-up.
Discussion
Findings from this trial will potentially provide valuable evidence to improve physical function and maintain independence among older people from low-resource settings. This will inform health policies and identify locally acceptable strategies to promote healthy aging, prevent and delay functional decline among older Malaysian adults.
Trial registration
ISRCTN22749696.
doi:10.1186/s12877-015-0002-7
PMCID: PMC4334409
Elderly; Exercise; Physical function; Frailty; Randomised controlled trial; Lifestyle
4.  Development of a new assessment scale for measuring interaction during staff-assisted transfer of residents in dementia special care units 
BMC Geriatrics  2015;15:6.
Background
Mobility problems and cognitive deficits related to transferring or moving persons suffering from dementia are associated with dependency. Physical assistance provided by staff is an important component of residents’ maintenance of mobility in dementia care facilities. Unfortunately, hands-on assistance during transfers is also a source of confusion in persons with dementia, as well as a source of strain in the caregiver. The bidirectional effect of actions in a dementia care dyad involved in transfer is complicated to evaluate. This study aimed to develop an assessment scale for measuring actions related to transferring persons with dementia by dementia care dyads.
Methods
This study was performed in four phases and guided by the framework of the biopsychosocial model and the approach presented by Social Cognitive Theory. These frameworks provided a starting point for understanding reciprocal effects in dyadic interaction. The four phases were 1) a literature review identifying existing assessment scales; 2) analyses of video-recorded transfer of persons with dementia for further generation of items, 3) computing the item content validity index of the 93 proposed items by 15 experts; and 4) expert opinion on the response scale and feasibility testing of the new assessment scale by video observation of the transfer situations.
Results
The development process resulted in a 17-item scale with a seven-point response scale. The scale consists of two sections. One section is related to transfer-related actions (e.g., capability of communication, motor skills performance, and cognitive functioning) of the person with dementia. The other section addresses the caregivers’ facilitative actions (e.g., preparedness of transfer aids, interactional skills, and means of communication and interaction). The literature review and video recordings provided ideas for the item pool. Expert opinion decreased the number of items by relevance ratings and qualitative feedback. No further development of items was performed after feasibility testing of the scale.
Conclusions
To enable assessment of transfer-related actions in dementia care dyads, our new scale shows potential for bridging the gap in this area. Results from this study could provide health care professionals working in dementia care facilities with a useful tool for assessing transfer-related actions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12877-015-0003-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12877-015-0003-6
PMCID: PMC4333260
Caregiver; Dementia; Dyadic interaction; Observation scale; Scale construction; Special care unit
5.  The protocol of the Oslo Study of Clonidine in Elderly Patients with Delirium; LUCID: a randomised placebo-controlled trial 
BMC Geriatrics  2015;15:7.
Background
Delirium affects 15% of hospitalised patients and is linked with poor outcomes, yet few pharmacological treatment options exist. One hypothesis is that delirium may in part result from exaggerated and/or prolonged stress responses. Dexmedetomidine, a parenterally-administered alpha2-adrenergic receptor agonist which attenuates sympathetic nervous system activity, shows promise as treatment in ICU delirium. Clonidine exhibits similar pharmacodynamic properties and can be administered orally. We therefore wish to explore possible effects of clonidine upon the duration and severity of delirium in general medical inpatients.
Methods/Design
The Oslo Study of Clonidine in Elderly Patients with Delirium (LUCID) is a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, parallel group study with 4-month prospective follow-up. We will recruit 100 older medical inpatients with delirium or subsyndromal delirium in the acute geriatric ward. Participants will be randomised to oral clonidine or placebo until delirium free for 2 days (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria), or after a maximum of 7 days treatment. Assessment of haemodynamics (blood pressure, heart rate and electrocardiogram) and delirium will be performed daily until discharge or a maximum of 7 days after end of treatment. The primary endpoint is the trajectory of delirium over time (measured by Memorial Delirium Assessment Scale). Secondary endpoints include the duration of delirium, use of rescue medication for delirium, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of clonidine, cognitive function after 4 months, length of hospital stay and need for institutionalisation.
Discussion
LUCID will explore the efficacy and safety of clonidine for delirium in older medical inpatients.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01956604. EudraCT Number: 2013-000815-26
doi:10.1186/s12877-015-0006-3
PMCID: PMC4336683
Delirium; Treatment; Clonidine; Drug therapy; Double-blind method; Aged; Therapeutic use; Adrenergic alpha-2 Receptor Agonists
6.  Service users’ involvement in the development of individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (iCST) for dementia: a qualitative study 
BMC Geriatrics  2015;15:4.
Background
Individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (iCST) is a one to one, carer led psychosocial intervention for people with dementia, adapted from group Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST). It is increasingly recognised that involving service users in research is key to developing interventions and treatments that successfully address their needs. This study describes the contribution of people with dementia and carers during the development phase of the intervention and materials.
Methods
Twenty-eight people with dementia and 24 carers were consulted in a series of six focus groups and 10 interviews. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into perceptions of mental stimulation from the point of view of carers and people with dementia, to ensure the materials are easy to use, clear, and appropriately tailored to the needs of people with dementia and their carers, and to assess the feasibility of the intervention.
Results
The importance of mental stimulation was emphasized by carers and people with dementia. People with dementia saw activities as a way of ‘keeping up to date’ and spending time in a meaningful way. Carers reported benefits such as improved quality of life, mood and memory. The concept of iCST was well received, and both carers and people with dementia responded positively to the first drafts of materials. Feasibility issues, such as finding time to do sessions, were identified.
Conclusion
The feedback from the focus groups and interviews will be used to further develop and refine the iCST programme materials in preparation for a field testing phase prior to a large scale randomized controlled trial (RCT).
Trial registration
ISRCTN65945963. Date of registration: 05/05/2010.
doi:10.1186/s12877-015-0004-5
PMCID: PMC4326446  PMID: 25655940
Cognitive stimulation therapy; Dementia; Focus groups; Individual cognitive stimulation therapy; Individual interviews
7.  What should we know about dementia in the 21st Century? A Delphi consensus study 
BMC Geriatrics  2015;15:5.
Background
Escalating numbers of people are experiencing dementia in many countries. With increasing consumer needs, there is anticipated growth in the numbers of people providing diagnostic evaluations, treatments, and care. Ensuring a consistent and contemporary understanding of dementia across all of these groups has become a critical issue. This study aimed to reach consensus among dementia experts from English speaking countries regarding essential and contemporary knowledge about dementia.
Methods
An online Delphi study was conducted to examine expert opinion concerning dementia knowledge with three rounds of data collection. A sample of dementia experts was selected by a panel of Australian experts, including a geriatrician and three professors of aged care. Purposive selection was initially undertaken with the sample expanded through snowballing. Dementia experts (N = 19) included geriatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, neuroscientists, dementia advocates, and nurse academics from the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia. In the first round, these participants provided open-ended responses to questions determining what comprised essential knowledge about dementia. In the second round, responses were summarised into 66 discrete statements that participants rated on the basis of importance. In the third round, a rank-ordered list of the 66 statements and a group median were provided and participants rated the statements again. The degree of consensus regarding importance ratings was determined by assessing median, interquartile range, and proportion of experts scoring above predetermined thresholds. Correlation scores were calculated for each statement after the final round to identify changes in statement scores.
Results
The Delphi experts identified 36 statements about dementia that they considered essential to understanding the condition. Statements about care for a person experiencing dementia and their care giver represented the largest response category. Other statements, for which full or very high consensus was reached, related to dementia characteristics, symptoms and progression, diagnosis and assessment, and treatment and prevention.
Conclusions
These results summarise knowledge of dementia that is considered essential across expert representatives of key stakeholder groups from three countries. This information has implications for the delivery of care to people with the condition and the development of dementia education programs.
doi:10.1186/s12877-015-0008-1
PMCID: PMC4326452  PMID: 25656075
Dementia; Knowledge; Delphi study; Consensus; Quality of life
8.  Association of skeletal muscle relaxers and antihistamines on mortality, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits in elderly patients: a nationwide retrospective cohort study 
BMC Geriatrics  2015;15:2.
Background
High-risk medication exposure in the elderly is common and associated with increased mortality, hospitalizations, and emergency department (ED) visits. Skeletal muscle relaxants and antihistamines are high-risk medications commonly prescribed in elderly patients. The objective of this study was to determine the association between skeletal muscle relaxants or antihistamines and mortality, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits.
Methods
This study used a new-user, retrospective cohort design using national Veteran Affairs (VA) data from 128 hospitals. Veterans ≥65 years of age on October 1, 2005 who received VA inpatient/outpatient care at least once in each of fiscal year (FY) 2005 and FY 2006 were included. Exposure to skeletal muscle relaxants and antihistamines was defined by the National Committee for Quality Assurance Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set measures for high-risk medications in the elderly. Primary outcomes identified within one year of exposure were death, ED visit, or hospitalization; ED visits or hospitalizations due to falls and fracture were also assessed. Propensity score matching (1 to 1 match) was used to balance covariates between exposed patients and non-exposed patients.
Results
In this cohort of 1,807,404 patients 55,566 patients were included in the propensity-matched cohort for skeletal muscle relaxants and 60,058 patients were included in the propensity-matched cohort for anti-histamines. Mortality was lower in skeletal muscle relaxants-exposed patients (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.87, 95% CI 0.81-0.94), but risk of emergency care (AOR 2.25, 95% CI 2.16-2.33) and hospitalization (AOR 1.56, 95% CI 1.48-1.65) was higher for patients prescribed skeletal muscle relaxants. Similar findings were observed for emergency and hospital care for falls or fractures. Mortality (AOR 1.93, 95% CI 1.82-2.04), ED visits (AOR 2.35, 95% CI 2.27-2.43), and hospitalizations (AOR 2.21, 95% CI 2.11-2.32) were higher in the antihistamine-exposed group, with similar findings for falls and fractures outcomes.
Conclusion
Skeletal muscle relaxants and antihistamines are associated with an increased risk of ED visits and hospitalizations in elderly patients. Antihistamines were also associated with an increased risk of death, further validating the classification of these drug classes as “high risk”.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-15-2
PMCID: PMC4322434  PMID: 25623366
Aged; Antihistamines; Skeletal muscle relaxant; Adverse drug events; Healthcare effectiveness data and information set; Mortality; Hospitalizations; Emergency service
9.  Assessing the physical environment of older people’s residential care facilities: development of the Swedish version of the Sheffield Care Environment Assessment Matrix (S-SCEAM) 
BMC Geriatrics  2015;15:3.
Background
There is emerging evidence that the physical environment is important for health, quality of life and care, but there is a lack of valid instruments to assess health care environments. The Sheffield Care Environment Assessment Matrix (SCEAM), developed in the United Kingdom, provides a comprehensive assessment of the physical environment of residential care facilities for older people. This paper reports on the translation and adaptation of SCEAM for use in Swedish residential care facilities for older people, including information on its validity and reliability.
Methods
SCEAM was translated into Swedish and back-translated into English, and assessed for its relevance by experts using content validity index (CVI) together with qualitative data. After modification, the validity assessments were repeated and followed by test-retest and inter-rater reliability tests in six units within a Swedish residential care facility that varied in terms of their environmental characteristics.
Results
Translation and back translation identified linguistic and semantic related issues. The results of the first content validity analysis showed that more than one third of the items had item-CVI (I-CVI) values less than the critical value of 0.78. After modifying the instrument, the second content validation analysis resulted in I-CVI scores above 0.78, the suggested criteria for excellent content validity. Test-retest reliability showed high stability (96% and 95% for two independent raters respectively), and inter-rater reliability demonstrated high levels of agreement (95% and 94% on two separate rating occasions). Kappa values were very good for test-retest (κ = 0.903 and 0.869) and inter-rater reliability (κ = 0.851 and 0.832).
Conclusions
Adapting an instrument to a domestic context is a complex and time-consuming process, requiring an understanding of the culture where the instrument was developed and where it is to be used. A team, including the instrument’s developers, translators, and researchers is necessary to ensure a valid translation and adaption. This study showed preliminary validity and reliability evidence for the Swedish version (S-SCEAM) when used in a Swedish context. Further, we believe that the S-SCEAM has improved compared to the original instrument and suggest that it can be used as a foundation for future developments of the SCEAM model.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2318-15-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-15-3
PMCID: PMC4323237  PMID: 25563507
Questionnaire; Translation; Validity; Reliability; Health care environment; Residential care facility; Elderly care
10.  Symptom burden in community-dwelling older people with multimorbidity: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Geriatrics  2015;15:1.
Background
Globally, the population is ageing and lives with several chronic diseases for decades. A high symptom burden is associated with a high use of healthcare, admissions to nursing homes, and reduced quality of life. The aims of this study were to describe the multidimensional symptom profile and symptom burden in community-dwelling older people with multimorbidity, and to describe factors related to symptom burden.
Methods
A cross-sectional study including 378 community-dwelling people ≥ 75 years, who had been hospitalized ≥ 3 times during the previous year, had ≥ 3 diagnoses in their medical records. The Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale was used to assess the prevalence, frequency, severity, distress and symptom burden of 31 symptoms. A multiple linear regression was performed to identify factors related to total symptom burden.
Results
The mean number of symptoms per participant was 8.5 (4.6), and the mean total symptom burden score was 0.62 (0.41). Pain was the symptom with the highest prevalence, frequency, severity and distress. Half of the study group reported the prevalence of lack of energy and a dry mouth. Poor vision, likelihood of depression, and diagnoses of the digestive system were independently related to the total symptom burden score.
Conclusion
The older community-dwelling people with multimorbidity in this study suffered from a high symptom burden with a high prevalence of pain. Persons with poor vision, likelihood of depression, and diseases of the digestive system are at risk of a higher total symptom burden and might need age-specific standardized guidelines for appropriate management.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-15-1
PMCID: PMC4292813  PMID: 25559550
Chronic disease; Older people; Symptom assessment
11.  Reablement in community-dwelling adults: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14:139.
Background
As a result of the ageing population, there is an urgent need for innovation in community health-care in order to achieve sustainability. Reablement is implemented in primary care in some Western countries to help meet these challenges. However, evidence to support the use of such home-based rehabilitation is limited. Reablement focuses on early, time-intensive, multidisciplinary, multi-component and individualised home-based rehabilitation for older adults with functional decline. The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of reablement in home-dwelling adults compared with standard treatment in relation to daily activities, physical functioning, health-related quality of life, use of health-care services, and costs.
Methods/Design
The study will be a 1:1 parallel-group randomised controlled superiority trial conducted in a rural municipality in Norway. The experimental group will be offered reablement and the control group offered standard treatment. A computer-generated permuted block randomisation sequence, with randomly selected block sizes, will be used for allocation. Neither participants nor health-care providers will be blinded, however all research assistants and researchers will be blinded. The sample size will consist of 60 participants. People will be eligible if they are home-dwelling, over 18 years of age, understand Norwegian and have functional decline. The exclusion criteria will be people in need of institution-based rehabilitation or nursing home placement, and people who are terminally ill or cognitively reduced. The primary outcome will be self-perceived performance, and satisfaction with performance of daily activities, assessed with the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. In addition, physical capacity, health-related quality of life, use of health-care services, and cost data will be collected at baseline, and after 3 and 9 months in both groups, and again after 15 months in the intervention group. Data will be analysed on an intention-to-treat basis using a linear mixed model for repeated measures.
Discussion
The findings will make an important contribution to evaluating cost-effective and evidence-based rehabilitation approaches for community-dwelling adults.
Trial registration
The trial was registered in ClinicalTrials.gov November 20, 2012, identifier: NCT02043262.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-139
PMCID: PMC4320541  PMID: 25519828
Activities of daily living; Rehabilitation; Aged; Randomised controlled trial; Home-care services; Health care costs
12.  Predictors of urinary incontinence in community-dwelling frail older adults with diabetes mellitus in a cross-sectional study 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14(1):137.
Background
Diabetes mellitus is a potent risk factor for urinary incontinence. Previous studies of incontinence in patients with diabetes have focused on younger, healthier patients. Our objective was to characterize risk factors for urinary incontinence among frail older adults with diabetes mellitus in a real-world clinical setting.
Methods
We performed a cross-sectional analysis on enrollees at On Lok (the original Program for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly) between October 2004 and December 2010. Enrollees were community-dwelling, nursing home-eligible older adults with diabetes mellitus (N = 447). Our outcome was urinary incontinence measures (n = 2602) assessed every 6 months as “never incontinent”, “seldom incontinent” (occurring less than once per week), or “often incontinent” (occurring more than once per week). Urinary incontinence was dichotomized (“never” versus “seldom” and “often” incontinent). We performed multivariate mixed effects logistic regression analysis with demographic (age, gender and ethnicity), geriatric (dependence on others for ambulation or transferring; cognitive impairment), diabetes-related factors (hemoglobin A1c level; use of insulin and other glucose-lowering medications; presence of renal, ophthalmologic, neurological and peripheral vascular complications), depressive symptoms and diuretic use.
Results
The majority of participants were 75 years or older (72%), Asian (65%) and female (66%). Demographic factors independently associated with incontinence included older age (OR for age >85, 3.13, 95% CI: 2.15-4.56; Reference: Age <75) and African American or other race (OR 2.12, 95% CI: 1.14-3.93; Reference: Asian). Geriatric factors included: dependence on others for ambulation (OR 1.48, 95% CI: 1.19-1.84) and transferring (OR 2.02, 95% CI: 1.58-2.58) and being cognitively impaired (OR 1.41, 95% CI: 1.15-1.73). Diabetes-related factors associated included use of insulin (OR 2.62, 95% CI: 1.67-4.13) and oral glucose-lowering agents (OR 1.81, 95% CI: 1.33-2.45). Urinary incontinence was not associated with gender, hemoglobin A1c level or depressive symptoms.
Conclusions
Geriatric factors such as the inability to ambulate or transfer independently are important predictors of urinary incontinence among frail older adults with diabetes mellitus. Clinicians should address mobility and cognitive impairment as much as diabetes-related factors in their assessment of urinary incontinence in this population.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-137
PMCID: PMC4274753  PMID: 25514968
Urinary incontinence; Frail older adults; Diabetes mellitus
13.  Predictors of dizziness in older persons: a 10-year prospective cohort study in the community 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14(1):133.
Background
The current diagnosis-oriented approach of dizziness does not suit older patients. Often, it is difficult to identify a single underlying cause, and when a diagnosis is made, therapeutic options may be limited. Identification of predictors of dizziness may provide new leads for the management of dizziness in older patients. The aim of the present study was to investigate long-term predictors of regular dizziness in older persons.
Methods
Population-based cohort study of 1,379 community-dwelling participants, aged ≥60 years, from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA). Regular dizziness was ascertained during face-to-face medical interviews during 7- and 10-year follow-up. We investigated 26 predictors at baseline from six domains: socio-demographic, medical history, medication, psychological, sensory, and balance/gait. We performed multivariate logistic regression analyses with presence of regular dizziness at 7- and 10-year follow-up as dependent variables. We assessed the performance of the models by calculating calibration and discrimination.
Results
Predictors of regular dizziness at 7-year follow-up were living alone, history of dizziness, history of osteo/rheumatoid arthritis, use of nitrates, presence of anxiety or depression, impaired vision, and impaired function of lower extremities. Predictors of regular dizziness at 10-year follow-up were history of dizziness and impaired function of lower extremities. Both models showed good calibration (Hosmer-Lemeshow P value of 0.36 and 0.31, respectively) and acceptable discrimination (adjusted AUC after bootstrapping of 0.77 and 0.71).
Conclusions
Dizziness in older age was predicted by multiple factors. A multifactorial approach, targeting potentially modifiable predictors (e.g., physical exercise for impaired function of lower extremities), may add to the current diagnosis-oriented approach.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-133) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-133
PMCID: PMC4274723  PMID: 25510936
Older individuals; Dizziness; Predictors; Prospective cohort study
14.  Fall predictors in older cancer patients: a multicenter prospective study 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14:135.
Background
In the older population falls are a common problem and a major cause of morbidity, mortality and functional decline. The etiology is often multifactorial making the identification of fall predictors essential for preventive measures. Despite this knowledge, data on falls within the older cancer population are limited. The objective of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of falls within 2 to 3 months after cancer treatment decision and to identify predictors of falls (≥1 fall) during follow-up.
Methods
Older patients (70 years or more) with a cancer treatment decision were included. At baseline, all patients underwent geriatric screening (G8 and Flemish Triage Risk Screening Tool), followed by a geriatric assessment including living situation, activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), fall history in the past 12 months, fatigue, cognition, depression, nutrition, comorbidities and polypharmacy. Questionnaires were used to collect follow-up (2–3 months) data. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify predictors for falls (≥1 fall) during follow-up.
Results
At baseline, 295 (31.5%) of 937 included patients reported at least one fall in the past 12 months with 88 patients (29.5%) sustaining a major injury. During follow-up (2–3 months), 142 (17.6%) patients fell, of whom 51.4% fell recurrently and 17.6% reported a major injury. Baseline fall history in the past 12 months (OR = 3.926), fatigue (OR = 0.380), ADL dependency (OR = 0.492), geriatric risk profile by G8 (OR = 0.471) and living alone (OR = 1.631) were independent predictors of falls (≥1 fall) within 2–3 months after cancer treatment decision.
Conclusion
Falls are a serious problem among older cancer patients. Geriatric screening and assessment data can identify patients at risk for a fall. A patient with risk factors associated with falls should undergo further evaluation and intervention to prevent potentially injurious fall incidents.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-135
PMCID: PMC4320446  PMID: 25511244
Older persons; Cancer; Falls; Geriatric assessment
15.  Informed palliative care in nursing homes through the interRAI Palliative Care instrument: a study protocol based on the Medical Research Council framework 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14(1):132.
Background
Nursing homes are important locations for palliative care. Through comprehensive geriatric assessments (CGAs), evaluations can be made of palliative care needs of nursing home residents. The interRAI Palliative Care instrument (interRAI PC) is a CGA that evaluates diverse palliative care needs of adults in all healthcare settings. The evaluation results in Client Assessment Protocols (CAPs: indications of problems that need addressing) and Scales (e.g. Palliative Index for Mortality (PIM)) which can be used to design, evaluate and adjust care plans. This study aims to examine the effect of using the interRAI PC on the quality of palliative care in nursing homes. Additionally, it aims to evaluate the feasibility and validity of the interRAI PC.
Methods
This study covers phases 0, I and II of the Medical Research Council (MRC) framework for designing and evaluating complex interventions, with a longitudinal, quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design and with mixed methods of evaluation. In phase 0, a systematic literature search is conducted. In phase I, the interRAI PC is adapted for use in Belgium and implemented on the BelRAI-website and a practical training is developed. In phase II, the intervention is tested in fifteen nursing homes. Participating nursing homes fill out the interRAI PC during one year for all residents receiving palliative care. Using a pretest-posttest design with quasi-random assignment to the intervention or control group, the effect of the interRAI PC on the quality of palliative care is evaluated with the Palliative care Outcome Scale (POS). Psychometric analysis is conducted to evaluate the predictive validity of the PIM and the convergent validity of the CAP ‘Mood’ of the interRAI PC. Qualitative data regarding the usability and face validity of the instrument are collected through focus groups, interviews and field notes.
Discussion
This is the first study to evaluate the validity and effect of the interRAI PC in nursing homes, following a methodology based on the MRC framework. This approach improves the study design and implementation and will contribute to a higher generalizability of results. The final result will be a psychometrically evaluated CGA for nursing home residents receiving palliative care.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02281032. Registered October 30th, 2014.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-132
PMCID: PMC4280705  PMID: 25479633
Palliative care; Nursing homes; Comprehensive geriatric assessment; interRAI Palliative Care instrument; Older adults; Study protocol
16.  Is use of fall risk-increasing drugs in an elderly population associated with an increased risk of hip fracture, after adjustment for multimorbidity level: a cohort study 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14(1):131.
Background
Risk factors for hip fracture are well studied because of the negative impact on patients and the community, with mortality in the first year being almost 30% in the elderly. Age, gender and fall risk-increasing drugs, identified by the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden, are well known risk factors for hip fracture, but how multimorbidity level affects the risk of hip fracture during use of fall risk-increasing drugs is to our knowledge not as well studied. This study explored the relationship between use of fall risk-increasing drugs in combination with multimorbidity level and risk of hip fracture in an elderly population.
Methods
Data were from Östergötland County, Sweden, and comprised the total population in the county aged 75 years and older during 2006. The odds ratio (OR) for hip fracture during use of fall risk-increasing drugs was calculated by multivariate logistic regression, adjusted for age, gender and individual multimorbidity level. Multimorbidity level was estimated with the Johns Hopkins ACG Case-Mix System and grouped into six Resource Utilization Bands (RUBs 0–5).
Results
2.07% of the study population (N = 38,407) had a hip fracture during 2007. Patients using opioids (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.34-1.82), dopaminergic agents (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.24-2.55), anxiolytics (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.11-1.54), antidepressants (OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.42-1.95) or hypnotics/sedatives (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.13-1.52) had increased ORs for hip fracture after adjustment for age, gender and multimorbidity level. Vasodilators used in cardiac diseases, antihypertensive agents, diuretics, beta-blocking agents, calcium channel blockers and renin-angiotensin system inhibitors were not associated with an increased OR for hip fracture after adjustment for age, gender and multimorbidity level.
Conclusions
Use of fall risk-increasing drugs such as opioids, dopaminergic agents, anxiolytics, antidepressants and hypnotics/sedatives increases the risk of hip fracture after adjustment for age, gender and multimorbidity level. Fall risk-increasing drugs, high age, female gender and multimorbidity level, can be used to identify high-risk patients who could benefit from a medication review to reduce the risk of hip fracture.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-131
PMCID: PMC4286212  PMID: 25475854
Hip fracture; Multimorbidity level; Fall risk-increasing drugs; Elderly; Medication review; Sweden
17.  Comprehensive geriatric assessment predicts mortality and adverse outcomes in hospitalized older adults 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14(1):129.
Background
Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) provides detailed information on clinical, functional and cognitive aspects of older patients and is especially useful for assessing frail individuals. Although a large proportion of hospitalized older adults demonstrate a high level of complexity, CGA was not developed specifically for this setting. Our aim was to evaluate the application of a CGA model for the clinical characterization and prognostic prediction of hospitalized older adults.
Methods
This was a prospective observational study including 746 patients aged 60 years and over who were admitted to a geriatric ward of a university hospital between January 2009 and December 2011, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The proposed CGA was applied to evaluate all patients at admission. The primary outcome was in-hospital death, and the secondary outcomes were delirium, nosocomial infections, functional decline and length of stay. Multivariate binary logistic regression was performed to assess independent factors associated with these outcomes, including socio-demographic, clinical, functional, cognitive, and laboratory variables. Impairment in ten CGA components was particularly investigated: polypharmacy, activities of daily living (ADL) dependency, instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) dependency, depression, dementia, delirium, urinary incontinence, falls, malnutrition, and poor social support.
Results
The studied patients were mostly women (67.4%), and the mean age was 80.5±7.9 years. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed the following independent factors associated with in-hospital death: IADL dependency (OR=4.02; CI=1.52-10.58; p=.005); ADL dependency (OR=2.39; CI=1.25-4.56; p=.008); malnutrition (OR=2.80; CI=1.63-4.83; p<.001); poor social support (OR=5.42; CI=2.93-11.36; p<.001); acute kidney injury (OR=3.05; CI=1.78-5.27; p<.001); and the presence of pressure ulcers (OR=2.29; CI=1.04-5.07; p=.041). ADL dependency was independently associated with both delirium incidence and nosocomial infections (respectively: OR=3.78; CI=2.30-6.20; p<.001 and OR=2.30; CI=1.49-3.49; p<.001). The number of impaired CGA components was also found to be associated with in-hospital death (p<.001), delirium incidence (p<.001) and nosocomial infections (p=.005). Additionally, IADL dependency, malnutrition and history of falls predicted longer hospitalizations. There were no significant changes in overall functional status during the hospital stay.
Conclusions
CGA identified patients at higher risk of in-hospital death and adverse outcomes, of which those with functional dependence, malnutrition and poor social support were foremost.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-129
PMCID: PMC4265401  PMID: 25464932
Geriatric assessment; Outcomes; Hospital care; Delirium; Nutrition
18.  Fracture risk in long term care: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective observational studies 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14(1):130.
Background
The risk factors associated with fractures have been well-characterized in community dwelling populations, but have not been clearly defined in long-term care (LTC) settings. The objective of this review was to identify risk factors for fractures in LTC settings.
Methods
We searched MEDLINE, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE and CINAHL up to June 2014, scanned reference lists of articles and consulted with experts in the field to identify relevant prospective cohort studies that evaluated risk factors associated with fracture incidence in LTC. We included studies that assessed the association between risk factors included in the WHO-Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX®) or other predictors relevant to LTC (psychotropic medications, cognitive impairment, mobility, and falls). All articles were screened and extracted by two authors. Available data on the association between a given risk factor and fracture incidence were pooled when possible. We used the GRADE criteria to provide a summary of evidence. The GRADE approach defines the quality of a body of evidence as the extent to which one can be confident that an estimate of effect or association is close to the quantity of specific interest.
Results
We identified 13 prospective cohort studies which examined fracture incidence among LTC residents. Most predictors showed moderate increases in fracture risk, but the quality of the evidence was often low. Moderate quality evidence showed that prior fractures and falls may moderately increase the risk of fractures. Being a woman and cognitive impairment are probably associated with a small increase. The effect of mobility and psychotropic medication use is still uncertain primarily due to the various definitions used in the studies and difficulty summarising the results.
Conclusions
In addition to criteria used in the FRAX assessment tool, such as a previous fracture and female gender, we found that falls and cognitive impairment are also associated with a small to moderate increases in the risk of fractures in LTC. Developing an assessment tool that includes risk factors that are specific to LTC may improve the identification of individuals who can benefit from fracture prevention programs in these settings.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-130
PMCID: PMC4266898  PMID: 25471485
Fractures; Long term care; FRAX; Risk assessment
19.  Internal consistency and construct validity assessment of a revised Facts on Aging Quiz for Flemish nursing students: an exploratory study 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14(1):128.
Background
Since more people are reaching older and older ages, healthcare systems are becoming in need of more and more knowledgeable nurses to meet the specific health care needs of older persons. Several instruments exist to measure and evaluate students’ knowledge of older persons, ageing, and gerontological care; however, unequivocal evidence on their use and psychometric properties is scarce. The aim of the study was to validate a revised version of Palmore’s Facts on Aging Quiz (FAQ).
Methods
A cross-sectional, exploratory study was conducted. Palmore’s FAQ version 1 and Facts on Aging Mental Health Quiz were used as bases for the development of a revised FAQ instrument. Three researchers translated these instruments into Dutch. A panel of nine experts in geriatric research and gerontological care evaluated the translation and the face and content validity of the instrument. We used a cross-sectional, exploratory design to assess its internal consistency and construct validity. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients, exploratory factor analysis, and the known-groups technique were used for these analyses.
Results
Based on the experts’ consensus, a revised version of the FAQ, consisting of 36 items, was produced. Exploratory factor analysis did not reveal underlying constructs suggesting that the revised version encloses a more general concept of knowledge (e.g. about older persons, aging, gerontological care). Using the known-groups technique, we validated the instrument, showing that it discriminates between the knowledge of first- and third-year nursing students. The overall Cronbach’s coefficient of 0.723 was acceptable and changed minimally (from 0.708 to 0.724) when items were removed.
Conclusion
We conclude that the revised version of the FAQ can be used to properly evaluate nursing students’ knowledge about older persons and gerontological care, as reasonable reliability and validity were established for this revised version of the FAQ.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-128) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-128
PMCID: PMC4267412  PMID: 25468447
Education; Geriatric nursing; Knowledge; Nursing; Nursing students; Palmore’s Facts on Aging Quizzes; Psychometrics; Questionnaires; Validation studies
20.  Who are the healthy active seniors? A cluster analysis 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14(1):127.
Background
This paper reports a cluster analysis of a sample recruited from a randomized controlled trial that explored the effect of using a life story work approach to improve the psychological outcomes of older people in the community.
Methods
238 subjects from community centers were included in this analysis. After statistical testing, 169 seniors were assigned to the active ageing (AG) cluster and 69 to the inactive ageing (IG) cluster.
Results
Those in the AG were younger and healthier, with fewer chronic diseases and fewer depressive symptoms than those in the IG. They were more satisfied with their lives, and had higher self-esteem. They met with their family members more frequently, they engaged in more leisure activities and were more likely to have the ability to move freely.
Conclusion
In summary, active ageing was observed in people with better health and functional performance. Our results echoed the limited findings reported in the literature.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-127
PMCID: PMC4265530  PMID: 25443864
Ageing; Elderly; Community; Cluster analysis
21.  Shifting between self-governing and being governed: a qualitative study of older persons’ self-determination 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14(1):126.
Background
Older persons’ right to exercise self-determination in daily life is supported by several laws. Research shows that older persons’ self-determination is not fully respected within the healthcare sector. In order to enable and enhance older persons’ self-determination, extensive knowledge of older persons’ self-determination is needed. The aim of this study was to explore experiences of self-determination when developing dependence in daily activities among community-dwelling persons 80 years and older.
Methods
Qualitative interviews were performed in accordance with a grounded theory method, with 11 persons aged 84–95 years who were beginning to develop dependence in daily activities.
Results
The data analysis revealed the core category, “Self-determination - shifting between self-governing and being governed”. The core category comprised three categories: “Struggling against the aging body”, “Decision-making is relational”, and “Guarding one’s own independence”. Self-determination in daily activities was related to a shifting, which was two-fold, and varied between self-governing and being governed by the aging body, or by others.
Conclusions
The findings imply a need to adopt a person-centered approach where the older persons’ own preferences and needs are in focus, in order to enhance their possibilities to exercise self-determination.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-126
PMCID: PMC4280698  PMID: 25432268
Aged 80 and over; Activities of daily living (ADL); Decision-making; Grounded theory; Sweden
22.  Effectiveness of a primary care based multifactorial intervention to improve frailty parameters in the elderly: a randomised clinical trial: rationale and study design 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14(1):125.
Background
Frailty is a highly prevalent condition in old age leading to vulnerability and greater risk of adverse health outcomes and disability. Detecting and tackling frailty at an early stage can prevent disability. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a multifactorial intervention program to modify frailty parameters, muscle strength, and physical and cognitive performance in people aged 65 years or more. It also assesses changes from baseline in falls, hospitalizations, nutritional risk, disability, institutionalization, and home-care.
Methods/design
The current study is a randomised single-blind, parallel-group clinical trial, with a one and a half year follow-up, conducted in eight Primary Health Care Centres located in the city of Barcelona. Inclusion criteria are to be aged 65 years or older with positive frailty screening, timed get-up-and-go test between 10 to 30 seconds, and Cognition Mini-Exam (MEC-35) of Lobo greater than or equal to 18. A total of 352 patients have been equally divided into two groups: intervention and control. Sample size calculated to detect a 0.5 unit difference in the Short Physical Performance Battery (Common SD: 1.42, 20% lost to follow-up). In the intervention group three different actions on frailty dimensions: rehabilitative therapy plus intake of hyperproteic nutritional shakes, memory workshop, and medication review are applied to sets of 16 patients. Participants in both intervention and control groups receive recommendations on nutrition, healthy lifestyles, and home risks.
Evaluations are blinded and conducted at 0, 3, and 18 months. Intention to treat analyses will be performed. Multivariate analysis will be carried out to assess time changes of dependent variables.
Discussion
It is expected that this study will provide evidence of the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary intervention on delaying the progression from frailty to disability in the elderly. It will help improve the individual’s quality of life and also reduce the rates of falls, hospital admissions, and institutionalizations, thus making the health care system more efficient. This preventive intervention can be adapted to diverse settings and be routinely included in Primary Care Centres as a Preventive Health Programme.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov PRS:NCT01969526. Date of registration: 10/21/2013.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-125
PMCID: PMC4258273  PMID: 25427568
Frail elderly; Aged; Randomised controlled trial; Exercise; Disability; Primary health care; Treatment outcome
23.  Factors related to functional prognosis in elderly patients after accidental hip fractures: a prospective cohort study 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14(1):124.
Background
A restriction in functional capacity occurs in all hip fractures and a variety of factors have been shown to influence patient functional outcome. This study sought to provide new and comprehensive insights into the role of factors influencing functional recovery six months after an accidental hip fracture.
Methods
A prospective cohort study was conducted of patients aged 65 years or more who attended the Emergency Room (ER) for a hip fracture due to a fall. The following were studied as independent factors: socio-demographic data (age, sex, instruction level, living condition, received help), comorbidities, characteristics of the fracture, treatment performed, destination at discharge, health-related quality of life (12-Item Short Form Health Survey) and hip function (Short Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index). As main outcome functional status was measured (Barthel Index and Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale). Data were collected during the first week after fracture occurrence and after 6 months of follow-up. Patients were considered to have deteriorated if there was worsening in their functional status as measured by Barthel Index and Lawton IADL scores. Factors associated with the outcome were studied via logistic regression analysis.
Results
Six months after the fall, deterioration in function was notable, with mean reductions of 23.7 (25.2) and 1.6 (2.2) in the Barthel Index and Lawton IADL Scale scores respectively. Patients whose status deteriorated were older, had a higher degree of comorbidity and were less educated than those who remained stable or improved. The multivariate model assessing the simultaneous impact of various factors on the functional prognosis showed that older patients, living with a relative or receiving some kind of social support and those with limited hip function before the fall had the highest odds of having losses in function.
Conclusion
In our setting, the functional prognosis of patients is determined by clinical and social factors, already present before the occurrence of the fracture. This could make it necessary to perform comprehensive assessments for patients with hip fractures in order to identify those with a poor functional prognosis to tackle their specific needs and improve their recovery.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-124
PMCID: PMC4280690  PMID: 25425462
Hip fractures; Elderly; Cohort study
24.  The trail making test as a screening instrument for driving performance in older drivers; a translational research 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14(1):123.
Background
In many countries, primary care physicians determine whether or not older drivers are fit to drive. Little, however, is known regarding the effects of cognitive decline on driving performance and the means to detect it. This study explores to what extent the trail making test (TMT) can provide indications to clinicians about their older patients’ on-road driving performance in the context of cognitive decline.
Methods
This translational study was nested within a cohort study and an exploratory psychophysics study. The target population of interest was constituted of older drivers in the absence of important cognitive or physical disorders. We therefore recruited and tested 404 home-dwelling drivers, aged 70 years or more and in possession of valid drivers’ licenses, who volunteered to participate in a driving refresher course. Forty-five drivers also agreed to undergo further testing at our lab. On-road driving performance was evaluated by instructors during a 45 minute validated open-road circuit. Drivers were classified as either being excellent, good, moderate, or poor depending on their score on a standardized evaluation of on-road driving performance.
Results
The area under the receiver operator curve for detecting poorly performing drivers was 0.668 (CI95% 0.558 to 0.778) for the TMT-A, and 0.662 (CI95% 0.542 to 0.783) for the TMT-B. TMT was related to contrast sensitivity, motion direction, orientation discrimination, working memory, verbal fluency, and literacy. Older patients with a TMT-A ≥ 54 seconds or a TMT-B ≥ 150 seconds have a threefold (CI95% 1.3 to 7.0) increased risk of performing poorly during the on-road evaluation. TMT had a sensitivity of 63.6%, a specificity of 64.9%, a positive predictive value of 9.5%, and a negative predictive value of 96.9%.
Conclusion
In screening settings, the TMT would have clinicians uselessly consider driving cessation in nine drivers out of ten. Given the important negative impact this could have on older drivers, this study confirms the TMT not to be specific enough for clinicians to justify driving cessation without complementary investigations on driving behaviors.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-123) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-123
PMCID: PMC4256796  PMID: 25420615
Aging; Trail making test; Fitness to drive; On-road evaluation; Psychophysics
25.  Handgrip strength and balance in older adults following withdrawal from long-term use of temazepam, zopiclone or zolpidem as hypnotics 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14(1):121.
Background
Benzodiazepines and related drugs affect physical functioning negatively and increase fall and fracture risk. As impaired muscle strength and balance are risk factors for falls, we examined the effects of hypnotic withdrawal on handgrip strength and balance in older adult outpatients during and after long-term use of temazepam, zopiclone and zolpidem (here collectively referred to as “benzodiazepines”).
Methods
Eighty-nine chronic users (59 women, 30 men) of temazepam, zopiclone or zolpidem aged ≥55 years participated in a benzodiazepine withdrawal study. Individual physician-directed withdrawal was performed gradually over a one-month period and participants were followed up to six months. Handgrip strength was assessed using a handheld dynamometer, and balance using the Short Berg’s Balance Scale during the period of benzodiazepine use (baseline), and at 1, 2, 3 weeks, and 1, 2 and 6 months after initiating withdrawal. Withdrawal outcome and persistence were determined by plasma benzodiazepine-determinations at baseline and at four weeks (“short-term withdrawers”, n = 69; “short-term non-withdrawers”, n = 20), and by interviews at six months (“long-term withdrawers”, n = 34; “long-term non-withdrawers”, n = 55). Also most of the non-withdrawers markedly reduced their benzodiazepine use.
Results
Within three weeks after initiating withdrawal, handgrip strength improved significantly (P ≤ 0.005) compared to baseline values. Among women, long-term withdrawers improved their handgrip strength both when compared to their baseline values (P = 0.001) or to non-withdrawers (P =0.004). In men, improvement of handgrip strength from baseline was not significantly better in withdrawers than in non-withdrawers. However, men did improve their handgrip strength values compared to baseline (P = 0.002). Compared to balance test results at baseline, withdrawers improved starting from the first week after withdrawal initiation. There was, however, only a borderline difference (P = 0.054) in balance improvement between the long-term withdrawers and long-term non-withdrawers. Of note, the non-withdrawers tended to improve their handgrip strength and balance compared to baseline values, in parallel with their reduced benzodiazepine use.
Conclusions
Withdrawal from long-term use of benzodiazepines can rapidly improve muscle strength and balance. Our results encourage discontinuing benzodiazepine hypnotics, particularly in older women who are at a high risk of falling and sustaining fractures.
Trial registration
EU Clinical Trials Register: EudraCT2008000679530. Registered 31 October 2008
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-121
PMCID: PMC4246488  PMID: 25416480
Benzodiazepines; Temazepam; Zopiclone; Zolpidem; Withdrawal; Handgrip strength; Balance; Improvement; Older adults

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