Pilot Project Abstract - Kerri Winters-Stone, PhD

Kerri Winters-Stone, PhD, Associate Professor/Scientist of the School of Nursing at OHSU: “Comprehensive Fall Risk Assessment in Breast Cancer Survivors”

We propose a pilot study to comprehensively evaluate fall risk factors in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors (BCS) who are within two years completion of treatment with chemotherapy and/or initiation of adjuvant endocrine therapy. This pilot study addresses the following Specific Aims: 1) Identify the post-cancer or treatment effects on symptoms, neuromuscular and visual characteristics that discriminate between BCS who have a history of falling and BCS with no fall history 2) Determine treatment and/or physiologic predictors of future falls in recently treated BCS. Aim 1 will be addressed by comparing BCS with a history of falling to BCS with no history of falls at baseline on symptoms and treatment, neuromuscular and visual characteristics. BCS will be divided into two groups based on fall history in the 6 months prior to enrollment: 1) BCS who report a fall and 2) BCS who do not report a fall. Aim 2 will be addressed by prospectively tracking falls for 6 months and determining which baseline characteristics predict falling among BCS.  For Aim 2, BCS will not be classified into fall group but rather will be considered one sample. Previous fall history will be included as a potential predictor among symptoms and treatment, neuromuscular and vision characteristics. We will recruit 60 postmenopausal BCS who have been recently treated with chemotherapy and/or adjuvant endocrine therapy. All women will undergo the following tests: computerized dynamic posturography; gait assessment; vision testing for depth perception, contrast sensitivity, visual acuity and vision in low light conditions; muscle strength by 1-repetition maximum leg press, leg power during stair climb and chair stand and leg muscle mass by DXA. After baseline testing women will be monitored for falls for 6 months. Results of this pilot study will be used as preliminary data for larger a trial to evaluate falls and fall risk in BCS and to develop targeted interventions to reduce falls in BCS.

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