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PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e41752. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041752. Epub 2012 Jul 31.

Harmonization process and reliability assessment of anthropometric measurements in the elderly EXERNET multi-centre study.

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  • 1GENUD (Growth, Exercise, NUtrition and Development) Research Group, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The elderly EXERNET multi-centre study aims to collect normative anthropometric data for old functionally independent adults living in Spain.

PURPOSE:

To describe the standardization process and reliability of the anthropometric measurements carried out in the pilot study and during the final workshop, examining both intra- and inter-rater errors for measurements.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A total of 98 elderly from five different regions participated in the intra-rater error assessment, and 10 different seniors living in the city of Toledo (Spain) participated in the inter-rater assessment. We examined both intra- and inter-rater errors for heights and circumferences.

RESULTS:

For height, intra-rater technical errors of measurement (TEMs) were smaller than 0.25 cm. For circumferences and knee height, TEMs were smaller than 1 cm, except for waist circumference in the city of Cáceres. Reliability for heights and circumferences was greater than 98% in all cases. Inter-rater TEMs were 0.61 cm for height, 0.75 cm for knee-height and ranged between 2.70 and 3.09 cm for the circumferences measured. Inter-rater reliabilities for anthropometric measurements were always higher than 90%.

CONCLUSION:

The harmonization process, including the workshop and pilot study, guarantee the quality of the anthropometric measurements in the elderly EXERNET multi-centre study. High reliability and low TEM may be expected when assessing anthropometry in elderly population.

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