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    Background: Primary health-care (PHC) providers are important for community involvement in health promotion and prevention efforts, particularly today that the number of elderly is increasing dramatically. The use of a standard practical measure would help in promoting the effectiveness of referral and monitoring processes. Objectives: To investigate the use of functional performance tests in terms of the appropriate cutoff point to determine walking ability with and without a walking device in community-dwelling elderly, and reliability of the tests when used by PHC providers. Methods: Community-dwelling people aged 65 years or older who walked with or without a walking device (n = 309) were interviewed and assessed for information related to the use of a walking device in daily living. Then, they were randomly assessed for their functional ability using the Timed Up and Go Test (TUG), Five Times Sit-to-Stand Test (FTSST), and the 10-Meter Walk Test (10MWT). PHC providers, including a physical therapist, village health volunteer, and a caregiver, assessed 30 participants' functional performances, to address rater reliability of the tests. Results: The findings suggested that outcomes of the tests (TUG < 12 s, FTSST < 15 s, and 10MWT > 0.8 m/s) can indicate the ability of walking without a walking device of the participants. These tests could be used by PHC providers, except for the FTSST by a caregiver. Conclusions: The findings offer a clear cutoff point for promoting the involvement of PHC providers and the standardization of a screening, monitoring, and referral process among many clinical and community settings.


    Patcharawan Suwannarat, Supapon Kaewsanmung, Thiwabhorn Thaweewannakij, Sugalya Amatachaya. The use of functional performance tests by primary health-care providers to determine walking ability with and without awalking device in community-dwelling elderly. Physiotherapy theory and practice. 2021 Jan;37(1):64-72

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    PMID: 31025583

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