The five-times-sit-to-stand test: validity, reliability and detectable change in older females

Allon Goldberg, Martina Chavis, Johnny Watkins, Tyler Wilson
Aging Clinical and Experimental Research 2012, 24 (4): 339-44

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The five-times-sit-to-stand test (FTSST) is a physical performance test commonly-used in clinical geriatric studies. The relationship between FTSST times and dynamic balance has not been widely investigated in older adults. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the validity of the FTSST as a measure of dynamic balance in older adults. A second objective was to quantify relative and absolute reliability, as well as minimum detectable change (MDC) of the FTSST in older adults.

METHODS: Twenty-nine females (mean age, 73.6 years) performed two trials of the FTSST, timed up and go (TUG), and functional reach (FR) tests. Validity of the FTSST as a measure of dynamic balance was evaluated by quantifying strength of relationships between the FTSST and two measures of dynamic balance, TUG and FR, using Pearson's correlation coefficient. Measures of relative [intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC)] and absolute [standard error of measurement (SEM)] reliability, as well as the MDC at the 95% confidence level (MDC 95 ) were computed for the FTSST.

RESULTS: The Pearson's correlation coefficient between FTSST and TUG (r=0.64, p<0.001) indicates that FTSST is a valid measure of dynamic balance and functional mobility in older adults. The ICC 2,1 of 0.95 is indicative of excellent relative reliability of the FTSST. SEM was 0.9 seconds and MDC 95 was 2.5 seconds for the FTSST. SEM (6.3% of mean FTSST) and MDC (17.5% of mean FTSST) percent values were low.

CONCLUSIONS: The FTSST is a valid measure of dynamic balance and functional mobility in older adults. The high ICC and low SEM and SEM% suggest excellent relative and absolute reliability and reproducibility of the FTSST in older adults. Change in FTSST performance should exceed 2.5 seconds to be considered real change beyond measurement error.

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