Characteristics of older adults who are unable to perform a floor transfer: considerations for clinical decision-making

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Review written by Dr Mariana Wingood

Key Points

  1. Inability to stand up off the floor is predictive of physical disability, functional performance, fall risk, and inability to live independently.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

An unsuccessful rise from the floor is indicative of impaired muscle strength, muscle power, coordination, body composition, balance, and flexibility (2,3). It is also strongly correlated with physical performance tests, including gait speed, grip strength, and Timed Up and Go performance (3). Due to these associations, it is not surprising to learn that inability to stand up off the floor is predictive of physical disability, functional performance, fall risk, and ability to live independently (1). However, little is known about the health-related characteristics that influence the ability to stand up from the floor.

Therefore, this study aimed to (1) describe and compare health-related factors among older adults who were independent, assisted, or dependent in the floor transfer (FT) test performance, and (2) establish the parallel reliability between self-reported and actual performance of a FT.

Inability to stand up off the floor is predictive of physical disability, functional performance, fall risk, and ability to live independently.
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The floor transfer test is a simple, safe, and practical method of obtaining meaningful information.

METHODS

Participants: 46 participants met the following inclusion criteria: 65 years or older; cognitively intact; adequately proficient in the English language; able to walk independently at least 15 ft with or without assistive devices on a level surface, or able to

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