14-2 The relation between self reported assessment of physical and mental health
The relation between self reported assessment of physical and mental health and performance based assessment of gait amongst elderly subjects: a pilot study
Yoav Gimmon, Uri Rosenblum Belzer, Itshak Melzer
Introduction: Impaired gait is one of the major risks for falls and deterioration of function in old age. Self-reported questionnaires regarding mental and physical functions, and performancebased assessments are tools used to etermine
impairments related to gait performance.
Aims: To explore the relations between self reported perceptions of physical and mental health (determined with the SF-12) and a gait performance measure (the six-minute walk test - 6MWT) in old adults; to examine possible differences between fallers and nonfallers and between male and female subjects in terms of self reported and performance based measures.
Methods: The study group consisted of 11 male and 24 female independent older adults (79.7±5.9 years of age) living in a retirement home. All subjects completed the SF-12 questionnaire and performed the 6MWT.
Results: A low, yet significant correlation was found between the distance walked in the 6MWT and the physical part of the SF-12 for the entire group and for the female subjects. Amongst males, a moderately significant correlation was found between the mental health part of the SF-12 and the 6MWT. In addition, a significant difference was found in the distance walked between fallers and non-fallers (p=0.034), with no significant difference in the SF-12. No gender
related difference was determined in the 6MWT.
Conclusions: The low correlations between walking distance and self-reported function indicate that while gait is an important factor determining functional ability, it is probably not the only factor affecting perception of physical health. The correlation of distance walked with the mental health part of the SF- 12 amongst male subjects points to the importance of the mental component in the ability to walk.
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