Age and Gender- Related Test Performance in Community Dwelling Elderly Population: Six-Minute Step Test and Four Square Step Test
Background and purpose: Aging is associated with a decrease in the efficiency of several functions, among which are posture control and functional capacity, even in the absence of diseases. There is little data available in literature describing variation in test performance for older adults who are functioning independently. The available data are less and often difficult for clinicians to use as a basis of comparison in documentation because they are not presented in terms of age and gender groupings. The purpose of this study is to investigate aging related changes in balance and functional capacity performance in community dwelling elderly people.
Method: Total 60 subjects were included and divided into 3 groups according to age groups. Group 1 (60- 69), Group 2 (70-79), Group 3 (80-89) in each group 20 subjects with 10 males and 10 females. The informed consent was taken. Six Minute Step Test (6MST) and Four Square Step Test (FSST) were performed on them. The number of steps taken by the subjects in 6 minutes were recorded in 6MST and the time taken by the subjects to complete the FSST were recorded using stopwatch. The data obtained was analyzed using independent t- test and one way ANOVA.
Result: 6MST and FSST scores were significantly different in all 3 age groups. The results showed that there is a progressive decrease in the 6MST and progressive increase in the time taken to complete FSST with increasing age. However, there was no significant difference between males and females performance in 6MST and FSST.
Conclusion: From the results it can be concluded that there is a progressive decrease in the test performance (6MST & FSST) with age in community dwelling elderly people.
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