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Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

Print version ISSN 1413-3555


ALEXANDRE, Tiago S.; MEIRA, Débora M.; RICO, Natália C.  and  MIZUTA, Simone K.. Accuracy of Timed Up and Go Test for screening risk of falls among community-dwelling elderly. Rev. bras. fisioter. [online]. 2012, vol.16, n.5, pp.381-388.  Epub Aug 02, 2012. ISSN 1413-3555.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the accuracy of the Timed Up and Go Test (TUGT) for screening the risk of falls among community-dwelling elderly individuals. METHOD: This is a prospective cohort study with a randomly by lots without reposition sample stratified by proportional partition in relation to gender involving 63 community-dwelling elderly individuals. Elderly individuals who reported having Parkinson's disease, a history of transitory ischemic attack, stroke and with a Mini Mental State Exam lower than the expected for the education level, were on a wheelchair and that reported a single fall in the previous six months were excluded. The TUGT, a mobility test, was the measure of interested and the occurrence of falls was the outcome. The performance of basic activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) was determined through the Older American Resources and Services, and the socio-demographic and clinical data were determined through the use of additional questionnaires. Receiver Operating Characteristic Curves were used to analyze the sensitivity and specificity of the TUGT. RESULTS: Elderly individuals who fell had greater difficulties in ADL and IADL (p<0.01) and a slower performance on the TUGT (p=0.02). No differences were found in socio-demographic and clinical characteristics between fallers and non-fallers. Considering the different sensitivity and specificity, the best predictive value for discriminating elderly individuals who fell was 12.47 seconds [(RR=3.2) 95%CI: 1.3-7.7]. CONCLUSIONS: The TUGT proved to be an accurate measure for screening the risk of falls among elderly individuals. Although different from that reported in the international literature, the 12.47 second cutoff point seems to be a better predictive value for Brazilian elderly individuals.

Keywords : elderly; falls; TUGT; sensitivity; specificity; physical therapy.

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