Gait Speed in Ambulant Older People in Long Term Care: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Kuys, Suzanne S., Peel, Nancye M., Klein, Kerenaftali, Slater, Alexandra and Hubbard, Ruth E. (2014) Gait Speed in Ambulant Older People in Long Term Care: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 15 3: 194-200. doi:10.1016/j.jamda.2013.10.015


Author Kuys, Suzanne S.
Peel, Nancye M.
Klein, Kerenaftali
Slater, Alexandra
Hubbard, Ruth E.
Title Gait Speed in Ambulant Older People in Long Term Care: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Journal name Journal of the American Medical Directors Association   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1525-8610
1538-9375
Publication date 2014-03-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jamda.2013.10.015
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 15
Issue 3
Start page 194
End page 200
Total pages 7
Place of publication Philadelphia United States
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Abstract Background: Gait speed, recently proposed as the sixth vital sign of geriatric assessment, is a strong predictor of adverse outcomes. Walking faster than 1.0 m/s is associated with better survival in community-dwelling older adults, and a recent meta-analysis of older adults in clinical settings estimated usual gait speed to be 0.58 m/s. Here, we aimed to review gait speed values for long term care residents.
Formatted abstract
Background: Gait speed, recently proposed as the sixth vital sign of geriatric assessment, is a strong predictor of adverse outcomes. Walking faster than 1.0 m/s is associated with better survival in community-dwelling older adults, and a recent meta-analysis of older adults in clinical settings estimated usual gait speed to be 0.58 m/s. Here, we aimed to review gait speed values for long term care residents.

Methods: Relevant databases were systematically searched for original research studies published prior to December 2012. Inclusion criteria were participants living in long term care, mean age >70 years, and gait speed measured over a short distance. Meta-analysis determined gait speed data adjusting for covariates including age, sex, and cognition.

Results: Final data included 2888 participants from 34 studies. The percentage of residents ineligible because of inability to mobilize was stated in only 1 study. Of the 34 studies, 22 reported cognitive status using the Mini-Mental State Examination. Usual pace and maximal pace gait speeds were determined separately using a random effects model. No association between gait speed and covariates was found. Usual pace gait speed was 0.475 m/s (95% confidence interval 0.396-0.554) and maximal pace was 0.672 m/s (95% confidence interval 0.532-0.811).

Conclusions: In ambulant older people in long term care, gait speed is slow but remains functional. However, since many residents are likely to have been ineligible to participate in assessments, these results cannot be generalized to the long term care population as a whole.
Keyword Gait speed
Long term care
Meta-analysis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
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