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The application of strength and power related field tests in older adults: criteria, current status and a future perspective

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      Abstract

      Leg muscle strength (LMS) and leg muscle power (LMP) are determinants of aspects of functional status and important parameters for measuring intervention effects in older adults. Field tests are often used for the evaluation of LMS and LMP in older persons. However, criteria important for the application of strength and power related field tests in older adults have not been systematically taken into account and are not yet fully listed and described in a single publication. Therefore, this paper describes criteria important for the application of strength and power related field tests in older adults. In addition, strength and power related field tests commonly used in older adults are evaluated by using the described criteria. Based on this evaluation, this paper provides a perspective on the further development of field tests. Criteria important for strength and power related field tests are: adequate accuracy, precision, concurrent validity, clinical validity, practical feasibility and pure strength or power outcomes. Commonly used strength and power related field tests do not meet all the aforementioned criteria. Therefore, further development of field tests is necessary. Mobile sensing systems are potentially useful for the evaluation of LMS and LMP in older adults. Mobile sensing systems do not have the limitations of commonly used field tests and provide important additional advantages. In particular, mobile sensing systems offer the opportunity of continuous monitoring during free-movement in the home-environment, thereby reducing the need of standardized assessments by health-care professionals. Future studies should examine the clinical validity of mobile sensing systems and evaluate the application of sensor technology in exercise-based interventions.

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      Most cited references 48

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        A power primer.

         Todd J. Cohen (1992)
        One possible reason for the continued neglect of statistical power analysis in research in the behavioral sciences is the inaccessibility of or difficulty with the standard material. A convenient, although not comprehensive, presentation of required sample sizes is provided here. Effect-size indexes and conventional values for these are given for operationally defined small, medium, and large effects. The sample sizes necessary for .80 power to detect effects at these levels are tabled for eight standard statistical tests: (a) the difference between independent means, (b) the significance of a product-moment correlation, (c) the difference between independent rs, (d) the sign test, (e) the difference between independent proportions, (f) chi-square tests for goodness of fit and contingency tables, (g) one-way analysis of variance, and (h) the significance of a multiple or multiple partial correlation.
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          A short physical performance battery assessing lower extremity function: association with self-reported disability and prediction of mortality and nursing home admission.

          A short battery of physical performance tests was used to assess lower extremity function in more than 5,000 persons age 71 years and older in three communities. Balance, gait, strength, and endurance were evaluated by examining ability to stand with the feet together in the side-by-side, semi-tandem, and tandem positions, time to walk 8 feet, and time to rise from a chair and return to the seated position 5 times. A wide distribution of performance was observed for each test. Each test and a summary performance scale, created by summing categorical rankings of performance on each test, were strongly associated with self-report of disability. Both self-report items and performance tests were independent predictors of short-term mortality and nursing home admission in multivariate analyses. However, evidence is presented that the performance tests provide information not available from self-report items. Of particular importance is the finding that in those at the high end of the functional spectrum, who reported almost no disability, the performance test scores distinguished a gradient of risk for mortality and nursing home admission. Additionally, within subgroups with identical self-report profiles, there were systematic differences in physical performance related to age and sex. This study provides evidence that performance measures can validly characterize older persons across a broad spectrum of lower extremity function. Performance and self-report measures may complement each other in providing useful information about functional status.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [ ]Center for Human Movement Sciences, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
            [ ]Institute of Movement and Sport Gerontology, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne, Germany
            Contributors
            rubenregterschot@hotmail.com
            t.morat@dshs-koeln.de
            marjanne@folkersma.org
            zijlstra@dshs-koeln.de
            Journal
            Eur Rev Aging Phys Act
            Eur Rev Aging Phys Act
            European Review of Aging and Physical Activity
            BioMed Central (London )
            1813-7253
            1861-6909
            7 October 2015
            7 October 2015
            2015
            : 12
            26865866
            4745147
            147
            10.1186/s11556-015-0147-6
            © Regterschot et al. 2015

            Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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            Review Article
            Custom metadata
            © The Author(s) 2015

            Medicine

            sensor, muscle power, muscle strength, aged, assessment

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