The use of functional performance tests and simple anthropomorphic measures to screen for comorbidity in primary care
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Cheung, Daphne SK
Wong, Anthony SW
Kwan, Rick Yiu Cho
Lai, Claudia KY
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AbstractBackground Many older adults are unaware that they have comorbid diseases. Increased adiposity and reduced muscle mass are identified as key contributors to many chronic diseases in older adults. Understanding the role they play in the development of comorbidities in older populations is of prime importance. Objectives To identify the optimal body shape associated with three common functional performance tests and to determine which anthropometric and functional performance test best explains comorbidity in a sample of older adults in Hong Kong. Methods A total of 432 older adults participated in this cross‐sectional study. Researchers assessed their body height, body mass index, waist circumference, waist‐to‐hip ratio, handgrip strength (kg), functional reach (cm) and results in the timed‐up‐and‐go (TUG) test (seconds). The Charlson Comorbidity Index was used to assess comorbidity. Results Allometric modelling indicated that the optimal body shape associated with all functional performance tests would have required the participants to be taller and leaner. The only variable that predicted comorbidity was the TUG test. The inclusion of body size/shape variables did not improve the prediction model. Conclusion Performance in the TUG test alone was found to be capable of identifying participants at risk of developing comorbidities. The TUG test has potential as a screening tool for the early detection of chronic diseases in older adults. Implications for Practice Many older people are unaware of their own co‐existing illnesses when they consult physicians for a medical condition. TUG can be a quick and useful screening measure to alert nurses in primary care to the need to proceed with more detailed assessments. It is an especially useful screening measure in settings with high patient volumes and fiscal constraints. TUG is low cost and easy to learn and is therefore also relevant for nurses and health workers in low‐resource, low‐income countries.
CitationNevill, A., Duncan, M., Cheung, D. S. K., Wong, A. S. W. et al. (2020) The use of functional performance tests and simple anthropomorphic measures to screen for comorbidity in primary care, International Journal of Older People Nursing, 00:e12333. DOI: 10.1111/opn.12333
JournalInternational Journal of Older People Nursing
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Wiley in International Journal of Older People Nursing on 07/07/2020, available online: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/opn.12333 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
SponsorsSchool of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/