Original article| Volume 91, ISSUE 11, P1747-1751, November 2010

Grip Strength in Older Adults: Test-Retest Reliability and Cutoff for Subjective Weakness of Using the Hands in Heavy Tasks

  • Ching-Yi Wang
    Reprint requests to Ching-Yi Wang, PhD, School of Physical Therapy and Center for Education and Research on Geriatrics and Gerontology, Chung Shan Medical University, No 110, Sec 1, Jianguo N Rd, Taichung 402, Taiwan
    School of Physical Therapy, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

    Center for Education and Research on Geriatrics and Gerontology, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

    Physical Therapy Room, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
    Search for articles by this author
  • Li-Yuan Chen
    School of Physical Therapy, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

    Physical Therapy Room, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
    Search for articles by this author


      Wang C-Y, Chen L-Y. Grip strength in older adults: test-retest reliability and cutoff for subjective weakness of using the hands in heavy tasks.


      To examine the test-retest reliability of grip strength when using the mean value, the best value, and the first value of 2 grip strength measurements and to determine the cutoff value for separating those who were able or unable to perform a heavy task with their hands in a group of Taiwanese adults.


      Cross-sectional test-retest study.


      Local community centers.


      Community-dwelling older adults (N=469; age, ≥60y).


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Self-reported measure of ability to perform heavy tasks with their hands and grip strength.


      The test-retest reliability of grip strength in older adults was good (intraclass correlation coefficient ≥.85) when using the mean value, the best value, or the first of 2 measurements. Optimum cutoff values were 28.5 and 18.5kg, and values with 75% sensitivity were 34 and 22kg for men and women, respectively.


      The test-retest reliability of grip-strength measurement in a group of Taiwanese older adults was acceptable when the best value, the mean value, or the first of 2 measurements was used. The reported mean and cutoff values for grip strength also could serve as reference values for the public to monitor their grip strength performance and identify those at risk for early intervention.

      Key Words

      List of Abbreviations:

      ANOVA (analysis of variance), AUC (area under the curve), BMI (body mass index), CI (confidence interval), ICC (intraclass correlation coefficient), ICC2,1 (ICC using a single rating (either the best or the first of the 2 measures)), ICC2,2 (ICC using the mean rating (mean of 2 measures)), ROC (receiver operation characteristic), SEM (standard error of the measurement)
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