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11.06.2021 | Original Contributions Open Access

The course of gait speed during a 400m walk test of mobility limitations in community-dwelling older adults

Zeitschrift:
Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie
Autoren:
Ulrich Lindemann, Sebastian Krumpoch, Clemens Becker, Cornel C. Sieber, Ellen Freiberger

Abstract

Background

The 400‑m walk test (400MWT) of usual gait speed is an assessment of mobility limitations in geriatric medicine and sarcopenic research.

Objective

The aim of this study was to describe the course of gait speed during a 400MWT in community-dwelling older adults in terms of physical, psychological and general health-related outcomes. Possible plateau phases during the 400MWT could enable integrated measurements of short distance walk tests.

Methods

In this study 148 community-dwelling older adults (mean age 80.4 ± 4.4 years, 61% women) performed a 400MWT at comfortable gait speed. Additionally, an 8m walk test was carried out and history of falling, sex, comorbidities, fear of falling, executive function and gait variability were determined as covariates.

Results

Gait speed was higher in the beginning and the end of the 400MWT compared to the middle part with respect to all analyzed covariates. Mean gait speed of the 8 m walk test was significantly faster than mean gait speed of the 400MWT (t (df = 147) = 0.07, p = 0.001).

Conclusion

The course of gait speed during a 400MWT performed by community-dwelling older adults was not affected by sex, gait variability, comorbidity, history of falling, fear of falling or executive function. Gait speed measurements of the 400MWT do not fully represent assessment of supervised short distance gait speed in community-dwelling adults.

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