Age- and gender-related test performance in community-dwelling adults

J Neurol Phys Ther. 2005 Dec;29(4):181-8. doi: 10.1097/01.npt.0000282315.17359.95.


Objective: Interpretation of patient scores on functional tests is enhanced by an understanding of test performance in reference groups. The purpose of this study was to expand performance values, by age and gender, on balance tests [the Multi-Directional Reach (MDRT); Berg Balance (BBS); Sharpened Romberg, eyes open (SREO), eyes closed (SREC); Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC)], and a general mobility test [Physical Performance Test, (PPT-7, PPT-9)]. The study also examined relationships between test performance and subject characteristics.

Design and subjects: Eighty-three community-dwelling adults over 50 participated in the study and completed the 5 functional tests during one test session. Means, standard deviations, and confidence intervals were calculated for each of the tests. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to examine relationships between test scores and age, gender, height, and weight.

Results: Test performance is reported by gender,within 10-year age cohorts. Regression analysis showed that age contributed significantly to prediction of performance on all of the tests and gender contributed significantly to prediction of scores on the Berg, SREO, and SREC.

Conclusions: Test performance values, in a sample of community-dwelling adults, is provided by age and gender cohorts to provide additional reference data that can be used by clinicians for comparison with client data. The small sample size for subjects over 80 years limits the reference value of data for this age group. In regression analyses, age and gender help predict outcomes on the dependent variables used in the study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobility Limitation*
  • Postural Balance*
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors