Translation and Validation of the Spanish Version of the SARC-F Questionnaire to Assess Sarcopenia in Older People

J Nutr Health Aging. 2019;23(6):518-524. doi: 10.1007/s12603-019-1204-z.


Objectives: The revised European consensus on sarcopenia definition and diagnosis (EWGSOP2) includes the SARC-F questionnaire, the most valid and consistent sarcopenia screening tool, as the mandatory first step. Our aim was the translation, cross-cultural adaptation, and validation of the SARC-F questionnaire as a culturally-responsive Spanish-language version for the European population.

Study design: Cross-sectional descriptive study, applying the two-step WHO methodology for translation and cross-cultural adaptation of health questionnaires, and harmonization with the Mexican-Spanish version. European Union Geriatric Medicine Society recommendations for SARC-F validation in European languages were considered.

Participants: Outpatient clinics of a university hospital.

Inclusion criteria: stable, ambulatory (including aids), community-dwelling population ≥65 years old.

Main outcome measures: The self-reported 5-item SARC-F questionnaire was administered; scores ≥4 indicated sarcopenia. Sensitivity, specificity, accuracy-likelihood ratios, predictive values, and kappa statistics were calculated and consecutively compared with European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) and EWGSOP2 criteria.

Results: This Spanish version, administered in an average 70s, has adequate internal consistency (Cronbach alpha=0.779). For the validation study, 90 (43.3%) of 208 potentially eligible subjects (81.4 ± 5.9 years old, 75.6% women) were included. SARC-F identified 51 (56.7%) subjects with sarcopenia and 39 (43.3%) without the disease. Prevalence was 17.8% per EWGSOP and 25.6% per EWGSOP2 (58% accuracy and fair agreement: sensitivity, 78.3%; specificity, 50.8%).

Conclusions: SARC-F is a feasible tool, suitable for bedside assessment in community-dwelling older patients. Wide diffusion of this culturally-responsible SARC-F Spanish version is expected as EWGSOP2 is adopted and sarcopenia assessment is broadly implemented in Spain.

Keywords: SARC-F; muscle mass; sarcopenia; screening; spanish; validation.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Language
  • Male
  • Sarcopenia / diagnosis*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires