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JFSF Vol 5, No 2, June 2020, p.24-30

doi: 10.22540/JFSF-05-024


Original Article

Neither Timed Up and Go test nor Short Physical Performance Battery predict future falls among independent adults aged ≥75 years living in the community

Beatrice Pettersson1, Ellinor Nordin1, Anna Ramnemark2, Lillemor Lundin-Olsson1

  1. Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
  2. Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

Keywords: Accidental falls, Aged, Functional ability, Geriatric assessment/methods, Postural balance


Objectives: Previous research has shown that balance and gait difficulties are predictors of falls. The aim of this study was to evaluate the predictive validity of two tools reporting on balance and gait among older community living adults independent in personal activities of daily living (p-ADL). Methods: Prospective study design. Baseline assessment included the Timed Up and Go test (TUG) and the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). Following baseline, falls were recorded monthly for one year by 202 participants (70.1% women) who were independent in p-ADL, and at least 75 years old (79.2±3.5). ROC-curves were made and AUC were calculated. Results: Fortyseven percent of the participants reported falls. AUCs calculated for TUG were 0.5 (95% CI: 0.5-0.6) for those with at least one fall, and 0.5 (95% CI: 0.5-0.6) for recurrent fallers. Corresponding figures for SPPB were 0.5 (95% CI: 0.5-0.6) and 0.5 (95% CI: 0.5-0.6). Conclusion: This study does not support a recommendation to use the Timed Up and Go test or the Short Physical Performance Battery as tools for the identification of fall-prone persons among older adults living in the community. These results reinforce the need for further research into appropriate tools for identifying independent but fall-prone older adults.