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Physical function assessment of older adults with lower body fractures at 3 months post-discharge from hospital

Authors Ibrahim NI, Sharkawi Ahmad M, Zulfarina MS, Zaris SNASM, Nor Azlin ZA, Naina Mohamed I, Mohamed N, Mokhtar SA, Shuid AN

Received 4 October 2018

Accepted for publication 6 December 2018

Published 29 January 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 201—210

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/TCRM.S189748

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Garry Walsh


Nurul ‘Izzah Ibrahim,1 Mohd Sharkawi Ahmad,1 Mohamed S Zulfarina,1 Sharifah Nurul Aqilah Sayed Mohd Zaris,2 Zainal Abidin Nor Azlin,3 Isa Naina Mohamed,1 Norazlina Mohamed,1 Sabarul Afian Mokhtar,2 Ahmad Nazrun Shuid1

1Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 2Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 3Department of Orthopedics & Traumatology, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Background and purpose: Physical function assessment can be performed to assess functional mobility among older adults, especially after a traumatic incident such as lower body fracture (LBF). The objective of this study was to evaluate physical function of older patients with LBF after 3 months of discharge from the hospital.
Patients and methods: A total of 89 patients were followed up at the discharge phase. Four independent variables were tested: age, sex, type of fracture, and use of a walking aid before fracture. Mobility and strength were assessed with the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test and handgrip strength (HGS) test, respectively. 
Results: The majority of the patients were ≥65 years old (64%), female (61.8%), of Chinese ethnicity (50.6%), and had a hip fracture (51.7%). The mean time for TUG test was 26.11 seconds, while mean HGS was 19.02 kg. We found significant differences in TUG test scores with respect to all independent variables tested: age (P=0.026), sex (P=0.011), fracture type (P<0.001), and use of a walking aid before fracture (P=0.004). Significant differences were also detected in HGS test scores with respect to all independent variables tested: age (P<0.001), sex (P<0.001), fracture type (P<0.001), and use of a walking aid before fracture (P=0.035).
Conclusion: Increasing age, female sex, having a hip fracture, and use of a walking aid before fracture predicted reduction in the physical function and strength among older adults with LBF.

Keywords: lower body fracture, Timed Up and Go test, handgrip strength test, rehabilitation


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