Motor dual-task Timed Up & Go test better identifies prefrailty individuals than single-task Timed Up & Go test

Pei-Fang Tang, Hao-Jan Yang, Ya-Chi Peng, Hui-Ya Chen
Geriatrics & Gerontology International 2015, 15 (2): 204-10

AIM: The present study investigated whether dual-task Timed Up & Go tests (TUG) could identify prefrail individuals more sensitively than the single-task TUG (TUGsingle ) in community-dwelling middle-aged and older adults.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study recruited adults aged 50 years and older who actively participated in local community programs. Time taken to complete single-task TUG and dual-task TUG, carrying a cup of water (TUGmanual ) or carrying out serial-3 subtraction (TUGcognitive ) while executing TUG, was measured. Prefrailty status was defined based on Fried's phenotypic definition.

RESULTS: Of the 65 participants (mean age 71.5±8.1 years), 33.3% of the 12 middle-aged (50-64 years) and 62.3% of the 53 older (≥65 years) adults were prefrail, mainly as a result of weak grip strength. The receiver operating characteristic curve analyses for differentiating prefrailty from non-frailty showed that the area under the curve (AUC) for TUGmanual (0.73, 95% CI 0.60-0.86) was better than that for TUGsingle (0.67, 95% CI 0.54-0.80), whereas the AUC value was not significant for TUGcognitive (0.60, 95% CI 0.46-0.74). The optimal cut-off points for detecting prefrailty using TUGsingle , TUGmanual and TUGcognitive were 7.7 s (sensitivity 68%), 8.2 s (sensitivity 83%), and 14.3 s (sensitivity 29%), respectively. After adjusting for age, logistic regression analyses showed that individuals with TUGmanual 8.2 s or slower were 7.2-fold more likely to have prefrailty than those with TUGmanual faster than 8.2 s.

CONCLUSION: TUGmanual is more valid and sensitive than TUGsingle in identifying prefrail individuals. The TUGmanual thus could serve as a screening tool for early detection of individuals with prefrailty in community-dwelling middle-aged and older adults.

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