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Phys Ther. 2002 Aug;82(8):752-61.

Physical impairment and disability: relationship to performance of activities of daily living in community-dwelling older men.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

The decline of physical function of older adults, associated with loss of independent living status, is a major public health concern. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of physical impairment and disability to performance of activities of daily living (ADL) among community-dwelling older adults.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

Eighty-three community-dwelling older men who were referred to a comprehensive outpatient geriatric evaluation program (mean age=75.5 years, SD=7.0, range=64-97) were examined. Measurements of physical impairment (muscle force production, flexibility, and fitness) and physical disability (gait speed, stride length, risk for recurrent falls, and physical function) were recorded.

RESULTS:

A stepwise linear regression was used to determine the relationship of physical impairments and disability measures with ADL. The results indicated that walking speed, fall risk, and muscle force contributed independently to the characterization of the activities of daily living of the community-dwelling older men studied (adjusted R2=.68; F=56.81; df=3,80; P<.001). Using a principal components factor analysis, 4 domains were identified that explained 68.2% of the variance in performance of ADL: (1) mobility/fall risk=26.5%, (2) coordination=15%, (3) fitness=14.7%, and (4) flexibility=12.0%.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION:

The identification of domains of physical function may be useful to physical therapists in the development of interventions targeted for physical impairments and disabilities that contribute to deficits in performance of ADL. Targeting interventions for physical impairments and disabilities related to function may improve the effectiveness of physical therapist interventions and reduce the loss of independence among community-dwelling older people.

PMID:
12147005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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