The extent of functional disability measured by performance of a series of simple manual tasks was determined in 1,286 elderly people, aged 66 to 98, who resided in central North Carolina. Missing data left 1,106 subjects for analysis. Poor manual performance was defined by either of two criteria: (1) inability to complete all the test items, or (2) taking longer than 350 seconds to complete the test. Using the first criterion, 113 persons (10.2%) were poor performers. When the two writing items were omitted from the analysis, 28 persons (2.4%) were in the poor performance group. Of the 993 persons who completed all items, 59 persons (5.9%) performed poorly. Using both criteria, the extent of functional disability was 16.1%; excluding the writing items, the extent of poor performance was 8.3%. Compared to those who performed well, those who performed poorly were older, poorer, less educated, more likely to be black, and less healthy. Because manual ability correlates highly with functional dependency and identifies those at risk for increased care needs, the magnitude of manual dysfunction noted in this survey has important implications for care providers and policy‐makers.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of the American Geriatrics Society|
|State||Published - Oct 1990|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology