225669 Predictors of physical functional ability in community dwelling older adults

Monday, November 8, 2010

E. Laurette Taylor, PhD , Dept of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
PURPOSE: By 2030, persons 85 years or older will be the fastest growing segment of the population, and the number who are 65 years or older will reach 70 million in the United States (ACSM, 1998). Because of this, it is important to identify effective screening methods for predicting the physical capability that is necessary for functional independence. This study investigated the effectiveness of several commonly used screening parameters in predicting physical function in older adults. METHODS: A cross sectional design was used with a sample of 85 community dwellers (34 M and 51 F) aged 58-84 years. Each subject completed: (1) the Continuous Scale Physical Functional Performance Test (performance-based) and (2) the MOS SF-36. BMI was calculated for all subjects. Multiple regression was used to identify predictors of overall physical function (CSP-total) from a set of commonly used screening parameters including age, BMI, SF-36 Physical Function score (SF-PF), and SF-36 General Health (SF-GH). RESULTS: Multiple regression indicated that age (p=.000, partial R2 adj. = .417) and SF-PF (p=.000, partial R2 adj. = .099) were significant predictors of CSP-total. SF-GH and BMI were ineffective predictors of functional performance. CONCLUSION: Age was the only substantive predictor of performance-based physical function in this sample. Even though SF-PF was a significant predictor, it added little to the overall variance accounted for in the model used. This suggests the need for identification of more discriminating screening parameters for predicting physical function among healthy, independent older adults. Other results will also be presented.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the importance of assessing functional ability in older adults. 2. Evaluate the usefulness various parameters as predictors of measures of physical functional performance.

Keywords: Screening Instruments, Health Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am faculty member in Health Promotion at the University of Oklahoma and was responsible for data collection and analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.