The Utility of the Timed Up-and-Go Test in Predicting Cognitive Performance: A Cross-Sectional Study of Independent Living Adults in a Retirement Community

J Appl Gerontol. 2020 Oct;39(10):1163-1168. doi: 10.1177/0733464819872636. Epub 2019 Sep 6.


Physical, emotional, and cognitive changes are well documented in aging populations. We administered a comprehensive battery of mental and physical health measures and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA; a cognitive screening tool) to 93 independently living older adults (OAs) residing in a Continuing Care Senior Housing Community. Performance on the Timed Up-and-Go (TUG) test (a measure of functional mobility) correlated more strongly with the MoCA total score than did measures of aging, psychiatric symptoms, sleep, and both self-report and objective physical health. Furthermore, it was associated with MoCA Attention, Language, Memory, and Visuospatial/Executive subscales. The MoCA-TUG relationship remained significant after controlling for demographic and physical/mental health measures. Given that the TUG explained significantly more variance in broad cognitive performance than a comprehensive battery of additional physical and mental health tests, it may function as a multimodal measure of health in OAs, capturing physical changes and correlating with cognitive measures.

Keywords: assessment; assisted living; cognitive function; community; gait.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Dysfunction*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Independent Living*
  • Male
  • Retirement