Title page for ETD etd-0731102-120443


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Wilson, Kathryn O'Bryan
URN etd-0731102-120443
Title Leg-Extensor Strength and Continuous-Scale Physical Functional Performance in Independent-Living Older Adults
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Kinesiology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Robert Wood Committee Chair
Arnold Nelson Committee Member
Melinda Solmon Committee Member
Keywords
  • funtional testing
  • strength testing
Date of Defense 2002-07-23
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
A clear relationship between age-related decrements in leg strength and physical function have been reported. The purpose of this investigation was to describe the relationship between quadriceps strength tested at various velocities and the CS-PFP 10 items. Thirty-three older adults (ages 70-95 years) were assessed using the CS-PFP 10 test battery and performed quadriceps strength testing at 0, 90, 180/sec using the Biodex dynamometer. Values for torque are reported as peak torque (PT) and relative peak torque (AdjPT) in Nm/kg body weight. The range of values for PT was (PT0: 20.2-144.3 Nm; PT90: 14-113.6 Nm; PT180: 9.6-86.4 Nm). Simple correlation revealed age was inversely related to quadriceps strength (with PT0, r=-0.368; PT180, r=-0.384), while nearly significant at PT90 (r=-0.339, p=0.54), and the overall CS-PFP 10 scores (r=-0.657, p<0.001). However, when treating the data according to gender, the relationship between age and strength did not achieve significance for either males or females. Age was associated with several of the individual CS-PFP items. Results also revealed relationships between absolute strength and CS-PFP 10 scores (PT0 r=0.622 p<0.001; PT90 r=0.683 p<0.001; PT180 r=0.614 p<0.001). Moreover, the association between age and function appeared somewhat similar for males (-0.621) and females (-0.678). However, the male subjects also showed associations between relative strength (AdjPT90 and AdjPT180) and CS-PFP10 scores, while females revealed an association between relative strength and function at 0 per second, only. Lastly, curve fitting revealed that the association between strength and function in this group of older adults is linear, thereby suggesting the absence of an identifiable functional threshold above which an increase in strength would not result in an increase in function. The results are consistent with age-related decrements in functional fitness and quadriceps strength. In each case these correlation coefficients suggest that greater levels of strength were associated with greater functional performance. Furthermore, these data suggest that absolute strength may be better associated with physical functioning than relative strength. Future research should continue to search for thresholds of strength as they relate to physical functional ability.
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