Article

Postural Balance and Self-Reported Functional Ability in 75-Year-Old Men and Women: A Cross-National Comparative Study

Institute of Preventive Medicine, Kommunehospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Impact Factor: 4.22). 02/1997; 45(1):21-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.1997.tb00973.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To study postural balance in relation to self-reported functional ability (mobility and ADL) and general physical activity in elderly men and women living in three different Nordic environments.
A random sample of 448 men and 556 women from among the 75-year-old residents in Glostrup, Denmark, and Göteborg, Sweden, and all the residents of relevant age (127 men and 261 women) in Jyväskylä, Finland.
Assessment of postural balance with eyes open and closed using a piezoelectric force platform. A structured interview on self-reported functional ability and physical activity. An in-laboratory medical examination.
In spite of some differences in balance between the groups studied (better results in women compared with men and, to some extent, better results in the participants from Denmark and Finland than in those from Sweden), the performance in the balance tests was similarly associated with functional ability within all groups. The subjects reporting no need of help in performing the ADL and mobility functions performed significantly better in the balance tests. These differences were seen more clearly in the control of anteroposterior movement of center of forces than in the mediolateral direction. The performance in the balance tests was also significantly better among the subjects reporting a higher level of general physical activity than in their less active counterparts. Physical activity and than in their less active counterparts. Physical activity and certain long standing illnesses modified significantly the relationship between postural balance and ADL-performance. When these factors were analyzed simultaneously, the role of balance as a predictor of ADL-performance largely disappeared.
The results suggest that good balance is one of the prerequisites of performance without difficulty in mobility and ADL functions. Physical exercise may help to maintain balancing abilities in old age; good balance, in turn, may also enable a physically active way of life. The associations of balance with functional ability and physical activity were independent of sex and locality. The results also support the validity of static stabilometry as a tool for evaluating threats to functional limitations in older subjects.

2 Followers
 · 
184 Views
  • Source
    • "The weakness of the present study might be that we have no objective measure of the functional ability or health status of the older men and women, only self-reports on functional ability. However, need for help as measured by the Mob-H Scale is strongly related to physical performance tests on walking speed (Avlund, Schroll, Davidsen, Løvborg, & Rantanen, 1994), stair walking (Avlund et al., 1994), and balance (Era et al., 1997). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To investigate the effect of cohabitation status in older men and women on (a) onset of disability at 3- and 4.5-year follow-up and (b) changes in functional ability between 3- and 4.5-year follow-up, and to analyze whether this effect was mediated by social participation. A total of 2,533 nondisabled older men and women enrolled in the Danish Intervention Study on Preventive Home Visits constituted the study population. Data were collected by mailed questionnaires in 1998-1999, 2000, 2001-2002, and 2003. Living alone significantly increased the risk of onset of disability (T3 OR = 1.60[1.06-2.43], T4 OR = 1.74[1.22-2.47]) and the risk of sustained poor functional ability (OR = 2.35[1.44-3.84]) among men, but not among single-living women. Social participation mediated only a small part of the effect of cohabitation status on functional ability. Our results underline the importance of cohabitation/marriage for maintaining a high functional ability among older men.
    Journal of Aging and Health 04/2008; 20(2):235-53. DOI:10.1177/0898264307310474 · 1.56 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Reliability tests on the Mob-T Scale showed agreement per cents from 94.3 to 95.3 and kappa values from 0.72 to 0.79 for the included items on intra-rater and inter-rater tests (Avlund et al., 1995). The measure is strongly related to chronic diseases (Schultz-Larsen et al., 1992; Schroll et al., 1997a), cardiac impairment (Schroll et al., 1997b), pulmonary function (Schultz-Larsen et al., 1992), muscle strength (Avlund et al., 1994), balance (Era et al., 1997) and cognitive performance (Avlund et al., 1997). This measure is supposed to capture most of the diseases and impairments which have not caused dependence of help. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of the study was to analyze whether social relations are related to onset of disability among old people at 1.5 year follow-up and whether these relations vary by age and gender. The study is based on baseline and 1.5 year follow-up data on 1396 older non-disabled adults. Social relations were measured by questions about diversity in social relations, social participation, satisfaction with social relations and instrumental social support. Onset of disability was described as developing need of help in at least one of six mobility activities. The results showed that a large diversity in social relations and high social participation were important factors for maintaining functional ability among the 75-year-old men and women, while social support was a risk factor for functional decline among the 80-year-old men. The present study suggests that being "embedded" in a strong network of social relations provides protection against disability by reducing risk of developing disability.
    Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics 02/2004; 38(1):85-99. DOI:10.1016/j.archger.2003.08.003 · 1.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Reliability tests on the Mob-T Scale showed agreement per cents from 94.3 to 95.3 and kappa values from 0.72 to 0.79 for the included items on intra-rater and inter-rater tests (Avlund et al., 1995). The measure is strongly related to chronic diseases (Schultz-Larsen et al., 1992; Schroll et al., 1997a), cardiac impairment (Schroll et al., 1997b), pulmonary function (Schultz-Larsen et al., 1992), muscle strength (Avlund et al., 1994), balance (Era et al., 1997) and cognitive performance (Avlund et al., 1997). This measure is supposed to capture most of the diseases and impairments which have not caused dependence of help. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of the study was to analyze whether social relations are related to onset of disability among old people at 1.5 year follow-up and whether these relations vary by age and gender. The study is based on baseline and 1.5 year follow-up data on 1396 older non-disabled adults. Social relations were measured by questions about diversity in social relations, social participation, satisfaction with social relations and instrumental social support. Onset of disability was described as developing need of help in at least one of six mobility activities. The results showed that a large diversity in social relations and high social participation were important factors for maintaining functional ability among the 75-year-old men and women, while social support was a risk factor for functional decline among the 80-year-old men. The present study suggests that being "embedded" in a strong network of social relations provides protection against disability by reducing risk of developing disability.
    Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics 38(1):85-99. · 1.53 Impact Factor
Show more