Physical function assessment of older adults with lower body fractures at 3 months post-discharge from hospital

Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2019 Jan 29;15:201-210. doi: 10.2147/TCRM.S189748. eCollection 2019.

Abstract

Background and purpose: Physical function assessment can be performed to assess functional mobility among older adults, especially after a traumatic incident such as lower body fracture (LBF). The objective of this study was to evaluate physical function of older patients with LBF after 3 months of discharge from the hospital.

Patients and methods: A total of 89 patients were followed up at the discharge phase. Four independent variables were tested: age, sex, type of fracture, and use of a walking aid before fracture. Mobility and strength were assessed with the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test and hand-grip strength (HGS) test, respectively.

Results: The majority of the patients were ≥65 years old (64%), female (61.8%), of Chinese ethnicity (50.6%), and had a hip fracture (51.7%). The mean time for TUG test was 26.11 seconds, while mean HGS was 19.02 kg. We found significant differences in TUG test scores with respect to all independent variables tested: age (P=0.026), sex (P=0.011), fracture type (P<0.001), and use of a walking aid before fracture (P=0.004). Significant differences were also detected in HGS test scores with respect to all independent variables tested: age (P<0.001), sex (P<0.001), fracture type (P<0.001), and use of a walking aid before fracture (P=0.035).

Conclusion: Increasing age, female sex, having a hip fracture, and use of a walking aid before fracture predicted reduction in the physical function and strength among older adults with LBF.

Keywords: Timed Up and Go test; handgrip strength test; lower body fracture; rehabilitation.