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Novel Proactive Model Identifies Falls, Syncope, Dizziness

Significant numbers of individuals ID’d with new diagnoses such as cognitive impairment, Parkinson’s

MONDAY, Oct. 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) — A novel proactive multidisciplinary service model can identify falls, syncope, and dizziness symptoms, and reveal new diagnoses, according to a study published online Sept. 27 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Steve W. Parry, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., of the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom, and colleagues designed a novel multidisciplinary, multifactorial falls, syncope, and dizziness service model with enhanced case ascertainment through proactive, primary care-based screening for individual fall risk factors.

The researchers identified 4,039 individuals through the service model, of whom 2,232 had significant gait and balance abnormalities, according to assessment by a senior physical therapist. Significant numbers of individuals were identified with new diagnoses, including cognitive impairment and Parkinson’s disease, as well as urgent indications for a pacemaker. According to the World Health Association Fracture Risk Assessment Tool Score, more than 600 individuals were at high risk of osteoporosis; 173 had benign positional paroxysmal vertigo and 50 had atrial fibrillation.

“Through such screening and this approach, Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment Plus (Plus [referring to] falls, syncope and dizziness expertise), unmet need was targeted on a scale far outside the numbers seen in clinical trials,” the authors write. “Further work is needed to determine whether this approach translates into fewer falls and decreases in syncope and dizziness.”

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