Aging effect on the instrumented Timed-Up-and-Go test variables in nursing home women aged 80–93 years
Many tests can crudely quantify age-related mobility decrease but instrumented versions of mobility tests could increase their specificity and sensitivity. The Timed-up-and-Go (TUG) test includes several elements that people use in daily life. The test has different transition phases: rise from a chair, walk, 180° turn, walk back, turn, and sit-down on a chair. For this reason the TUG is an often used test to evaluate in a standardized way possible decline in balance and walking ability due to age and or pathology. Using inertial sensors, qualitative information about the performance of the sub-phases can provide more specific information about a decline in balance and walking ability. The first aim of our study was to identify variables extracted from the instrumented timed-up-and-go (iTUG) that most effectively distinguished performance differences across age (age 18-75). Second, we determined the discriminative ability of those identified variables to classify a younger (age 18-45) and older age group (age 46-75). From healthy adults (n = 59), trunk accelerations and angular velocities were recorded during iTUG performance. iTUG phases were detected with wavelet-analysis. Using a Partial Least Square (PLS) model, from the 72-iTUG variables calculated across phases, those that explained most of the covariance between variables and age were extracted. Subsequently, a PLS-discriminant analysis (DA) assessed classification power of the identified iTUG variables to discriminate the age groups. 27 variables, related to turning, walking and the stand-to-sit movement explained 71% of the variation in age. The PLS-DA with these 27 variables showed a sensitivity and specificity of 90% and 85%. Based on this model, the iTUG can accurately distinguish young and older adults. Such data can serve as a reference for pathological aging with respect to a widely used mobility test. Mobility tests like the TUG supplemented with smart technology could be used in clinical practice.