Literature review and meta-analysis of risk factors for delayed post-traumatic stress disorder in older adults after a fall

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2017 Feb;32(2):136-140. doi: 10.1002/gps.4603. Epub 2016 Oct 10.


Objective: To test the hypothesis that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can appear after a fall and try to identify predictive factors for its development in older fallers.

Methods: Systematic literature review and meta-analyses of studies on PTSD post fall in older subjects.

Results: One hundred seventy-seven indexed articles were identified, of which three had complete data on PTSD post fall in older subjects. Only the odds ratio of the association between history of fall and occurrence of PTSD was significant (odds ratio = 2.79 (95% CI, 1.03-7.53).

Conclusion: The trend in our results, even though limited, reveals two groups of subjects: frail subjects that are at risk of developing PTSD and subjects who seem to be resistant to its development. A clear description of these two groups may help us identify the population at risk for delayed PTSD who could then benefit from dedicated treatment. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: fall; meta-analysis; post-traumatic stress disorder; predictive factors.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Frail Elderly / psychology
  • Humans
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*