Detectable changes in physical performance measures in elderly African Americans

Kathleen Kline Mangione, Rebecca L Craik, Alyson A McCormick, Heather L Blevins, Meaghan B White, Eileen M Sullivan-Marx, James D Tomlinson
Physical Therapy 2010, 90 (6): 921-7

BACKGROUND: African American older adults have higher rates of self-reported disability and lower physical performance scores compared with white older adults. Measures of physical performance are used to predict future morbidity and to determine the effect of exercise. Characteristics of performance measures are not known for African American older adults.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to estimate the standard error of measurement (SEM) and minimal detectable change (MDC) for the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), Timed "Up & Go" Test (TUG) time, free gait speed, fast gait speed, and Six-Minute Walk Test (6MWT) distance in frail African American adults.

DESIGN: This observational measurement study used a test-retest design.

METHODS: Individuals were tested 2 times over a 1-week period. Demographic data collected included height, weight, number of medications, assistive device use, and Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) scores. Participants then completed the 5 physical performance tests.

RESULTS: Fifty-two participants (mean age=78 years) completed the study. The average MMSE score was 25 points, and the average body mass index was 29.4 kg/m(2). On average, participants took 7 medications, and the majority used assistive devices. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC [2,1]) were greater than .90, except for the SPPB score (ICC=.81). The SEMs were 1.2 points for the SPPB, 1.7 seconds for the TUG, 0.08 m/s for free gait speed, 0.09 m/s for fast gait speed, and 28 m for 6MWT distance. The MDC values were 2.9 points for the SPPB, 4 seconds for the TUG, 0.19 m/s for free gait speed, 0.21 m/s for fast gait speed, and 65 m for 6MWT distance.

LIMITATIONS: The entire sample was from an urban area.

CONCLUSIONS: The SEMs were similar to previously reported values and can be used when working with African American and white older adults. Estimates of MDC were calculated to assist in clinical interpretation.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"