Combined tests to measure functional capability in elderly people

Eli Carmeli, Mark Wertheim, Michal Katz-Luerer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Several diagnostic tests and questionnaires on the health and functional status of elderly people are used in the clinical practice. The evaluation procedures are geared to determine function and health issues distinct from that of the quality of life. The use of broad assessment complex protocols may be unrealistic, false or impractical. Objectives: The aims of the study were: a) to explore the relationship between a subjects perception and two functional tests, and b) to measure if Tinetti balance test and Berg balance test provide similar results. Methods: Four common evaluation procedures were used prior and following 12 weeks of balance and exercise training: two are considered as objective tests (Tinetti and Berg), and two are considered as subjective questionnaires (Short-Form Health Survey - SF-36 and self satisfaction questionnaires). The procedures were applied to 38 independent elderly residents (aged 79±3.4) who live in a nursing home. Results: Intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated to measure the reliability for the self-assessment of subjects who reported as "no change" "improvement" or as "worse". Pearson correlation coefficient was used to investigate the correlation between the tests. The self-assessed report differed from the clinical outcome tests. In the self-assessment questionnaire two subjects rated "worse" whereas no deterioration was noticed in Tinetti and Berg tests. Moreover, after 12 weeks of balance training, using a self-rated questionnaire, 7 subjects reported "no change", and in the clinical tests 13 subjects showed "no change". Conclusions: The combined test of Tinetti and SF-36 can provide an improved picture of the functional capability and perception in elderly persons in nursing homes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-262+319
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Balance
  • Elderly
  • Measurement
  • Questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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