Reliability of the Norwegian version of the short physical performance battery in older people with and without dementia


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BioMed Central

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Background: The purpose of the study was to establish the test – retest reliability of the Norwegian version of the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). Methods: This was a cross- sectional reliability study. A convenience sample of 61 older adults with a mean age of 88.4(8.1) was tested by two different physiotherapists at two time points. The mean time interval between tests was 2.5 days. The Intraclass Correlation Coefficient model 3.1 (ICC, 3.1) with 95% confidence intervals as well as the weighted Kappa (K) were used as measures of relative reliability. The Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) and Minimal Detectable Change (MDC) were used to measure absolute reliability. The results were also analyzed for a subgroup of 24 older people with dementia. Results: The ICC reflected high relative reliability for the SPPB summary score and the 4 m walk test (4mwt), both for the total sample (ICC = 0.92, and 0.91 respectively)) and for the subgroup with dementia (ICC = 0.84 and 0.90 respectively). Furthermore, weighted Ks for the SPPB subscales were 0.64 for the chair stand, 0.80 for gait and 0.52 for balance for the total sample and almost identical for the subgroup with dementia. MDC-values at the 95% confidence intervals (MDC95) were calculated at 0.8 for the total score of SPPB and 0.39 m/s for the 4mwt in the total sample. For the subgroup with dementia MDC95 was 1.88 for the total score of SPPB and 0.28 m/s for 4mwt. Conclusions: The SPPB total score and the timed walking test showed overall high relative and absolute reliability for the total sample indicating that the Norwegian version of the SPPB is reliable when used by trained physiotherapists with older people. The reliability of the Norwegian SPPB in older people with dementia seems high, but due to a small sample size this needs further investigation.




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