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Is hand-held dynamometry useful for the measurement of quadriceps strength in older people? A comparison with the gold standard biodex dynamometry

Martin, H.J., Yule, V., Syddall, H.E., Dennison, E.M., Cooper, C. and Aihie Sayer, A. (2006) Is hand-held dynamometry useful for the measurement of quadriceps strength in older people? A comparison with the gold standard biodex dynamometry Gerontology, 52, (3), pp. 154-159. (doi:10.1159/000091824).

Record type: Article


Background: The lower limb muscle strength is an important determinant of physical function in older people. However, measurement in clinical and epidemiological settings has been limited because of the requirement for large-scale equipment. A protocol using a novel, versatile hand-held dynamometer (HHD) has been developed to measure the quadriceps strength in a supine position.
Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the validity of this new methodology for measuring the lower limb muscle strength compared to the gold standard Biodex dynamometer.
Methods: The supine quadriceps strength was measured twice with each of the Biodex and the HHD in 20 men and women, aged 61-81 years, on their non-dominant leg. The agreement between the peak torques obtained by Biodex and HHD was analyzed.
Results: The mean peak Biodex and HHD results were 83.4 +/- (SD) 28.0 Nm and 68.9 +/- 19.6 Nm, respectively. The HHD undermeasured the quadriceps strength by an average of 14.5 Nm (95% CI 8.5, 20.6) compared to the Biodex, and this effect was most marked in the strongest participants. Nevertheless, there was a good correlation between the measures (r = 0.91, p < 0.0001). Classification of individuals into tertiles of muscle strength showed good agreement between the two methods (Kappa = 0.69, p < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the HHD using a supine positioning offers a feasible, inexpensive, and portable test of quadriceps muscle strength for use in healthy older people. It underestimates the absolute quadriceps strength compared to the Biodex particularly in stronger people, but is a useful tool for ranking muscle strength of older people in epidemiological studies. It may also be of value for quick and objective assessment of physical function in the clinical setting.

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Published date: 2006
Keywords: function, aged, validity, muscle strength, leg, Hertfordshire, muscle, methods, men, women, classification


Local EPrints ID: 61362
ISSN: 0304-324X
PURE UUID: 43aa0d1a-08ab-4bf8-847b-a042be9db6a3
ORCID for H.E. Syddall: ORCID iD
ORCID for C. Cooper: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 12 Sep 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:22

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Author: H.J. Martin
Author: V. Yule
Author: H.E. Syddall ORCID iD
Author: E.M. Dennison
Author: C. Cooper ORCID iD
Author: A. Aihie Sayer

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