Measurement Characteristics and Clinical Utility of the Short Physical Performance Battery Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Published:August 02, 2018DOI:
      With the continued population increase of adults aged 65 and older, it is imperative to ensure that older adults are able to maintain their independence as long as possible.1 Maintenance of physical function is central to preserving independence for older adults because declines in physical function result in the loss of mobility and activities of daily living.1 Early detection of decline in physical function in older adults is critical and allows for early interventions to improve function or prevent further decline.2 The Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) is a clinician-rated physical performance measure that evaluates physical function in older adults. This assessment consists of 3 subscales: standing balance, gait, and rising from a chair.2 The assessment is scored on a 0-12 scale, with higher scores indicating better function.3 The SPPB does not require any formal training, is free to use, and requires only a stopwatch and chair. Psychometric studies of the SPPB have demonstrated excellent test-retest reliability,2. 4. 5. 6. predictive validity,7 and convergent validity with the Nagi Disability Scale.5 Information is available to support using the test results in clinical decision making including cutoff scores, standard error of measurement, minimum detectable change scores, and the minimum clinically important difference values.2. 3. 7.
      This abbreviated summary provides a review of the psychometric properties of the SPPB in community-dwelling older adults. A full review of the SPPB and reviews of more than 400 other instruments for patients with various health conditions can be found at:
      Please address correspondence to [email protected] .
      This instrument summary is designed to facilitate the selection of outcome measures by clinicians. The information contained in this summary represents a sample of the peer-reviewed research available at the time of this summary’s publication. The information contained in this summary does not constitute an endorsement of this instrument for clinical practice. The views expressed are those of the summary authors and do not represent those of authors’ employers, instrument owner(s), the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the Rehabilitation Measures Database, or the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The information contained in this summary has not been reviewed externally.
      The Rehabilitation Measures Database and Instrument Summary Tear-sheets were initially funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, United States Department of Health and Human Services, through the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Improving Measurement of Medical Rehabilitation Outcomes (H133B090024).
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