Minimal Chair Height Standing test performance is independently associated with falls in a population of Canadian older adults

Date

2012-12-20

Authors

Reider, Nadia

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To assess whether the Minimal Chair Height Standing (MCHS) test, could effectively identify “fallers” in a population of Canadian older adults, and to compare its effectiveness with the commonly used Sit-to-Stand (STS) test. DESIGN: Cross-sectional with counter-balanced assignment of testing order. SETTING: Community centers, independent-living and assisted-living facilities. PARTICIPANTS: 167 older adults (mean age=83.6yrs), able to walk independently. MEASUREMENTS: Participants were interviewed for medical conditions, physical activity, cognitive status (Mini Mental State Examination), mobility and independence (Independent Activities of Daily Living). Height, weight and shank length were measured. Fall history was self-reported and recorded retrospectively. The main outcome measures were MCHS and STS scores. RESULTS: MCHS performance was significantly worse for fallers (37.7cm, 95% CI: 35.5-40.0cm) than non-fallers (30.3cm, 95% CI: 28.1-32.5cm). Fallers showed significantly slower times in the STS. For participants with cardiac disease and/or stroke, MCHS scores discriminated between fallers and non-fallers (p=.001), but the STS did not (p=.233). For participants with knee replacements, MCHS discriminated between fallers and non-fallers (p=.044) but the STS did not (p=.076). CONCLUSIONS: The MCHS was found to be simple, practical and feasible for use with the elderly. The current study demonstrates its effectiveness as a fall-risk screening instrument for use with Canadian older adults. Further studies should be undertaken to determine its predictive validity.

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Keywords

Fall-risk screening, Falls, Minimal Chair Height Standing Ability, Lower body strength

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