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Phys Ther. 2011 Dec;91(12):1804-11. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20100417. Epub 2011 Oct 14.

Performance-based versus patient-reported physical function: what are the underlying predictors?

Author information

  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, 1575 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. jfbean@partners.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Functional limitations have been operationally defined for studies of rehabilitation science through measures of physical performance and patient-reported function. Although conceived as representing similar concepts, differences between these 2 modes of measuring physical functioning have not been adequately characterized scientifically.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to compare the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) with the function component of the Late-Life Function and Disability Instrument (LLFDI) with respect to their association with physiologic factors and other psychosocial and health factors potentially influencing rehabilitative care.

DESIGN:

This study was a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a sample of community-dwelling older adults (N=137) with mobility limitations enrolled in a randomized controlled trial of exercise.

METHODS:

A performance-based measure of function (the SPPB) and a self-report measure of function (the LLFDI) served as functional outcomes. Physiologic factors included measures of leg strength, leg velocity, and exercise tolerance test (ETT) duration, which served as a surrogate measure of aerobic capacity. Psychosocial and health factors included age, sex, height, body mass index, number of chronic conditions, depression, and falls efficacy.

RESULTS:

Separate multivariable regression models predicting SPPB and LLFDI scores described 33% and 42% of the variance in each outcome (R(2)), respectively. Leg velocity and ETT duration were positively associated with both performance-based and patient-reported functional measures. Leg strength and age were positively associated with SPPB scores, whereas number of chronic conditions, sex, and falls efficacy were associated with the LLFDI scores.

LIMITATIONS:

This study included older adults with mobility limitations and may not generalize to other populations.

CONCLUSIONS:

Performance-based and patient-reported measures of physical function appear to assess different aspects of an older person's functioning. The SPPB was associated with age and physiologic factors, whereas patient-reported function measured by the LLFDI was associated with these factors as well as with psychosocial and health factors.

PMID:
22003163
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3229045
Free PMC Article
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