Prevalence of functional disability among elderly patients with cancer

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This study is part of a larger multicenter prospective study conducted in Italy to assess the efficacy of the comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) among elderly patients with cancer (i.e. aged 65 years or older). The prevalence of functional limitations, and its association with selected characteristics, was investigated among 303 elderly patients consecutively admitted at the Department of Medical Oncology, IRCCS Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, Aviano (Northeast Italy), between 1995 and 1998. These patients had a median age of 72 years (range, 65-94), and were affected by haematological (n=182) or solid tumours (n=121). At baseline, their physical function was assessed, in addition to performance status (PS), by means of the activity of daily living (ADL) and the instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) scales. Overall, 17% of the patients had a limitation for ADL, and 59% for IADL, the prevalence of functional disabilities increased with age. Specifically, 8% of patients had continence limitations and 13% had limitations in taking the prescribed drugs. By multivariate analysis, a poor PS turned out to be a strong independent determinant of both ADL and IADL disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-273
Number of pages5
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Cancer
  • Comprehensive geriatric assessment
  • Disability
  • Elderly patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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