HealthDay News — A novel proactive multidisciplinary service model can identify falls, syncope, and dizziness symptoms, revealing new diagnoses, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Steve W. Parry, MBBS, PhD, 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 4039 individuals through the service model, of whom 2232 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.

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“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.”


Parry SW, Hill H, Lawson J, et al. A Novel Approach to Proactive Primary Care-Based Case Finding and Multidisciplinary Management of Falls, Syncope, and Dizziness in a One-Stop Service: Preliminary Results. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Sept 27; doi:10.1111/jgs.14389.