Geriatric syndromes and functional status in NSHAP: Rationale, measurement, and preliminary findings

Megan Huisingh-Scheetz*, Masha Kocherginsky, Phillip L. Schumm, Michal Engelman, Martha K. McClintock, William Dale, Elizabeth Magett, Patricia Rush, Linda Waite

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Introduction. The geriatric functional measures and syndromes collected 5 years apart in Waves 1 and 2 of the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) data set included: difficulty with activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living, the timed up and go, a 3-m timed walk, repeated chair stands, self-reported physical activity, accelerometry-assessed (in)activity, falls, fractures, and frailty. The purpose of this paper was to describe the data collection methods and report preliminary population estimates for each measures. Method. Frequencies, means, or medians were estimated for each measure stratified by age and gender, using the age-eligible samples in Wave 1 (n = 3,005) and Wave 2 (n = 3,196). An adapted phenotypic frailty scale was constructed in the sample common to both waves (n = 2,261). Changes over 5 years were reported for four measures common to both waves. Results. The functional measures worsened with age (p <. 001). The syndromes were more prevalent with age except "all fractures" (p value range <. 001-.03). Functional measures were worse among females than males except chair stand performance and the accelerometry-assessed (in)activity measures (p value range <. 001-.01). The syndromes were more common among females than males except Wave 2 falls and Wave 2 hip fractures (p value range <. 001-.03). Changes from Wave 1 to 2 revealed 11.5%-25.2% of individuals reported better health and 21.3%-44.7% reported worse health. Discussion. The NSHAP provides a comprehensive assessment of geriatric health. Our findings are consistent with the literature and support the construct of the study measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S177-S190
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Accelerometry
  • Falls
  • Fracture
  • Frailty
  • Functional assessment
  • Gait
  • Older adults
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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