Correlation between power elbow flexion and physical performance test: a potential predictor for assessing physical performance in older adults
Background: With the increasing number of older adults and their declining motor and cognitive function, it is crucial to find alternative methods for assessing physical functionality. The Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), the Time Up and Go (TUG) test, the 4 Meter Walk Test and the Barthel Index (BI) have been used to evaluate mobility and fragility and predict falls. But some of these functional test tasks could be difficult to perform for frail older adults or bedridden patients that cannot ambulate. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between these functional tests and the power elbow flexion (PEF test). Material and methods: A correlation study was designed with 41 older adults over 65 years of age. The upper limb muscle power was measured using a linear encoder (VITRUBE VBT) with the flexion of the elbow. Results: Strong correlations were found between the PEF test and the 4mWT (rho = 0.715, p = 0.001) and TUG (rho= −0.768, p = 0.001), indicating that the greater the upper limb muscle power is, the greater physical performance will be. Moderate correlations were also found between the PEF and Barthel Index (rho = 0.495, p = 0.001) and SPPB (rho = 0.650, p < 0.001). Conclusions: There is a strong correlation between PEF and the functional tests, proving that older adults that have greater upper limb muscle power have better physical performance. Upper limb muscle power and PEF could be an interesting tool for the assessment of physical performance in bedridden older adults.
61 - Medical sciences
Is part of
Journal of Clinical Medicine
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- Ciències de la Salut 
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