Evaluation of physical fitness and its association with geriatric syndromes in community-living elderly

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Evaluation of physical fitness and its association with geriatric syndromes in community-living elderly


Author: Fung, Chun-wai Lawrence
Title: Evaluation of physical fitness and its association with geriatric syndromes in community-living elderly
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1998
Subject: Physical fitness for older people -- China -- Hong Kong
Older people -- Health and hygiene -- China -- Hong Kong
Urinary incontinence in old age -- China -- Hong Kong
Falls (Accidents) in old age -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Nursing and Health Sciences
Pages: ix, 105 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
OneSearch: https://www.lib.polyu.edu.hk/bib/b1442286
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/2120
Abstract: This study serves firstly to evaluate the level of physical fitness of healthy elderly living in the community, and secondly to examine the relationship between physical fitness and the two common types of geriatric syndromes including fall and urinary incontinence. The study employed a cross-sectional observational design. A total of 68 subjects with a mean age of 69.4 +- 6.7 years participated in the study, all of them were healthy elderly living in the community and were recruited from the enrollees of a community health screening program. Eligible subjects were invited to attend an interview to obtain baseline information on demographics, general health status and the occurrence of fall and incontinence. They were then subjected to a series of fitness testing covering a total of 18 parameters under the 5 fitness domain of cardiorespiratory, body composition, muscle strength, flexibility and motor function. Differences in fitness measures between gender, age and outcome groups were evaluated by the ANOVA models. Factor analysis was used to investigate the structure and relationship of fitness domain, while logistic regression was used to examine the relationships between fitness measures and geriatric syndromes. Canonical correlation was used to identify common shared risk factors for fall and incontinence. Results revealed significant cross-sectional age-related declines in 7 parameters mainly representing the fitness domains of cardiorespiratory and muscle strength. The structural relationship of fitness domain was verified by factor analysis, and information from all fitness measures were combined to a single index of physical fitness capable of explaining 79% of total variance. Factor-analytically derived domains of body composition and respiratory function were found to share common relationships with fall and incontinence although with different relative strength. In conclusion, physical fitness was found to be a good indicator of physical performance and functional status of healthy elderly living in the community, whose physical functions could not otherwise be picked up by the common clinically-used functional assessment instruments. Etiologic models of fitness measures were developed to identify common shared relationships with geriatric syndromes, which would enhance the geriatric assessment and community care of elderly.

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