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J. Wearing, M. Stokes, R.A. de Bie, E.D. de Bruin

Jour Nursing Home Res 2020;6:93-99

Background: Handgrip strength and a chair-stand-test are often used to evaluate strength and function, and to detect probable sarcopenia in community-living, older adults. In institutionalized, frail older people, evaluation of muscle performance is of particular importance but it has received little attention. Objectives: To evaluate the feasibility of handgrip strength and the chair stand test in nursing-home residents, and their relation to overall strength, daily functioning and frailty. Design: A cross-sectional study. Setting: A nursing-home in Switzerland. Participants: 30 nursing-home residents, 23 women, age median (range) 86.5 (68-103) years. Measurements: Handgrip strength, the chair stand test, knee extensor and elbow flexor strength, gait speed, activities of daily living and frailty were assessed. The Mann-Whitney-U Test was used to compare sub-groups of sarcopenia (probable sarcopenia versus no probable sarcopenia) while Cohen’s Kappa and Area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve examined relationships between tests. Results: All participants were able to perform the handgrip strength test, while only 14 could complete the chair rise test. Probable sarcopenia was detected by handgrip strength in 22 and chair stand test in 24 (8 slow; 16 unable to complete) participants, with an overlap of 19. Probable sarcopenia, detected by each of the tests, was significantly associated with low gait speed and severe frailty status, while low handgrip strength also indicated low elbow flexor and knee extensor strength, and high dependence in activities of daily living. Conclusions: Handgrip strength test is superior to the chair stand test as a strength test to detect probable sarcopenia in nursing-home residents, as it could be completed by more frail people. Sarcopenia-specific cut off values in handgrip strength indicated overall strength, leg function, performance of daily activities and frailty, hence, the test could be used as a screening test for physical condition. Although further research is needed, given the importance of detecting muscle performance, handgrip strength testing is recommended in nursing-home residents.

J. Wearing ; M. Stokes ; R.A. de Bie ; E.D. de Bruin (2020): Feasibility and relevance of detection tests of probable sarcopenia in nursing-home residents. The Journal of Nursing Home Research Science (JNHRS). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jnhrs.2020.25

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