Background: The elderly EXERNET multi-centre study aims to collect normative anthropometric data for old functionally independent adults living in Spain.
Purpose: To describe the standardization process and reliability of the anthropometric measurements carried out in the pilot study and during the final workshop, examining both intra- and inter-rater errors for measurements.
Materials and methods: A total of 98 elderly from five different regions participated in the intra-rater error assessment, and 10 different seniors living in the city of Toledo (Spain) participated in the inter-rater assessment. We examined both intra- and inter-rater errors for heights and circumferences.
Results: For height, intra-rater technical errors of measurement (TEMs) were smaller than 0.25 cm. For circumferences and knee height, TEMs were smaller than 1 cm, except for waist circumference in the city of Cáceres. Reliability for heights and circumferences was greater than 98% in all cases. Inter-rater TEMs were 0.61 cm for height, 0.75 cm for knee-height and ranged between 2.70 and 3.09 cm for the circumferences measured. Inter-rater reliabilities for anthropometric measurements were always higher than 90%.
Conclusion: The harmonization process, including the workshop and pilot study, guarantee the quality of the anthropometric measurements in the elderly EXERNET multi-centre study. High reliability and low TEM may be expected when assessing anthropometry in elderly population.