Performance of Different Timed Up and Go Subtasks in Frailty Syndrome

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Abstract

Background and Purpose:

Gait speed, mobility, and postural transitions should be taken into account in older adults with frailty syndrome and can be assessed by the Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test. However, it is unclear which TUG subtasks have greater influence in identifying frail people and whether prefrail individuals present with any reduced subtask performance. The objective of this study was to investigate the differences in performance of TUG subtasks between frail, prefrail, and nonfrail older adults.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study was performed with community-dwelling older adults, including 43 nonfrail, 30 prefrail, and 7 frail individuals. The TUG subtasks (sit-to-stand, walking forward, turning, walking back, and turn-to-sit) were assessed using a Qualisys motion system. Data were captured by Qualisys Track Manager software and processed by Visual 3D software. The Matlab program was used to detect, separate, and analyze the TUG subtasks. Statistical significance was set at α = .05 and SigmaPlot software (11.0) was used.

Results and Discussion:

The total time to complete the TUG was significantly longer among frail participants than among those who were prefrail and nonfrail. Statistically significant differences in temporal parameters in the turning, walking forward, and walking back subtasks between nonfrail/prefrail and frail older people were found. In addition, the transition TUG subtasks (average and peak velocities of the trunk) distinguished the frail group from the other groups, demonstrating altered quality of movement.

Conclusions:

The findings support the value of analyzing the TUG subtasks to improve understanding of mobility impairment in frailty syndrome.

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