Communities and Collections

Lower urinary tract symptoms and falls risk among older women receiving home support: A prospective cohort study.

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Background Although lower urinary tract symptoms have been associated with falls, few studies have been undertaken to understand this relationship in vulnerable community dwelling older adults. The purpose of this study was to describe the relationship over time of falls risk and lower urinary tract symptoms among community based older women receiving home support services. Methods A prospective cohort study which took place in an urban setting in western Canada. Participants were 100 older women receiving home care or residing in assisted living with home support services and were followed for six months. Demographic characteristics were collected at baseline, with the Timed Up and Go (TUG), International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Female Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (ICIQ-FLUTS), and self-report of falls collected at baseline, 3 and 6 months. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize demographic data. Differences between the three visits were analyzed using the Friedman test with post hoc analysis and associations between variables by the Spearman Rank-Order Correlation Coefficient. Results One hundred women initially enrolled; 88 and 75 remained at three months and six months. Mean age = 84.3 years; 91% reported at least one urinary symptom at baseline and 35% reported falling in the six months prior to enrollment; 15.9% reported falling between the baseline and three months and 14.6% between three and six months. Mean TUG scores at each time point indicated falls risk (27.21, 29.18 and 27.76 seconds). Significant correlations between TUG and ICIQ-FLUTS (r = 0.33, p < .001; r = 0.39, p < .001) as well as TUG and overactive bladder scores (r = 0.25, p = .005; r = 0.28, p < .008) were found at baseline and three months, but not six months. Conclusions The association of lower urinary tract symptoms and falls risk in this group of vulnerable community dwelling older women at baseline and three months has potential clinical relevance. Lack of correlation at six months may be due loss of less robust participants, illuminating the difficulty in following frailer groups over time. Further studies are needed to understand the contribution of urinary symptoms to falls risk, and clinicians should incorporate continence assessment within falls risk assessment.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
  • License
    This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • Hunter, K. F., Voaklander, D., Hsu, Z. Y., & Moore, K. N. (2013). Lower urinary tract symptoms and falls risk among older women receiving home support: A prospective cohort study. BMC Geriatrics, 13(1).