Balance impairments are present in cancer survivors for many reasons and increase risk of falls, though specific investigation of these impairments, and assessments to identify them, is not widely reported.
Describe the performance of a large diverse cancer survivor population on a single-leg stance (SLS) test and assess relationships between this test and clinical and patient characteristics, including recent falls.
This was a retrospective cross-sectional study. Data were collected from baseline assessments of 412 cancer survivors joining a clinical exercise program.
The primary outcome was an SLS test, performed with eyes opened and closed. Clinical and patient characteristics included age, body mass index (BMI), gender, cancer diagnosis and treatment, quality of life (QOL), and a recent history of falls (within the past 6 weeks).
Approximately one-third of the population was unable to reach 30 seconds on at least one leg with eyes open. Age and BMI had a negative influence on SLS with eyes open, while only age had a negative influence with eyes closed, in participants impaired in these conditions (N = 137 and N = 254, respectively). QOL was not related to SLS. SLS identified participants with a recent history of falls (sensitivity = 0.83; specificity = 0.58).
This population was biased, determined by provider referral or participant choice to join. The population was diverse in cancer diagnoses and treatment, limiting subgroup observations.
Cancer survivors demonstrate a wide range of performance on the SLS test, which may show promise as a screen for fall risk.