This study examined the sensitivity and specificity of the timed up and go test under single task versus dual task conditions for identifying elderly individuals who we prone to falling
Thirty community-dwelling older adults living in the greater Seattle area were enrolled in the study after giving informed consent. The participants were 15 older adults with no history of falls (mean age=78 years, SD = 6 range =65-85) and 15 older adults with a history of 2 or more falls in the previous six months (mean age=86.2 years, SD= 6, range 76-95)
The test was performed under 4 conditions (Timed Up and go, timed up and go with a subtraction task, timed up and go cognitive and timed up and go while carrying a full cup of water). Subjects were given verbal instructions to stand up from a chair walk 3m as quickly and as safely as possible cross a line marked on the floor, turn around, walk back and sit down.
Results showed the older adults with a history of falls were slower than the adults without a history of falling in all 4 conditions. Analysis showed that the difference in time is due to their balance status.
Results suggested that adults who take longer than 14 seconds have a higher risk of falling. The cut off value of 14 seconds is different from that of Podsiadlo and Richardson, who found that a cut off value of greater than 30 seconds was best for predicting functional dependence among older adults