Using the Timed Up & Go test in a clinical setting to predict falling in Parkinson's disease

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Jul;94(7):1300-5. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.02.020. Epub 2013 Mar 6.


Objective: To investigate the ability of the Timed Up & Go test to identify patients with Parkinson's disease at risk for a fall.

Design: Cross-sectional cohort study.

Setting: Sixteen participating National Parkinson's Foundation Centers of Excellence.

Participants: A query yielded a total of 2985 records (1828 men and 1157 women). From these, 884 were excluded because of a lack of crucial information (age, diagnosis, presence of deep brain stimulation, disease duration, inability of performing the Timed Up & Go test without assistance) at the time of testing, leaving 2097 patients included in the analysis.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main outcome measures: The primary outcome measure for this study was falls. The chief independent variable was the Timed Up & Go test.

Results: The initial model examined the prediction of falls from the Timed Up & Go test, adjusting for all study covariates. The estimated models in the imputed data sets represented a significant improvement above chance (χ(2) range [df=17], 531.29-542.39, P<.001), suggesting that 74% of participants were accurately classified as a faller or nonfaller. The secondary model in which the question of whether the effect of Timed Up & Go test was invariant across disease severity demonstrated 75% of participants were accurately classified as a faller or nonfaller. Additional analysis revealed a proposed cut score of 11.5 seconds for discrimination of those who did or did not fall.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that the Timed Up & Go test may be an accurate assessment tool to identify those at risk for falls.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Aged
  • Arthritis / epidemiology
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Executive Function
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology
  • Parkinson Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index