Muscle quantity and function measurements are acceptable to older adults during and post- hospitalisation: results of a questionnaire-based study

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Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Birmingham and University of Nottingham


BACKGROUND: To evaluate the acceptability of handgrip strength, gait speed, quadriceps ultrasound, and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) to older adults conducted during and following hospitalisation.

METHODS: Questionnaire-based study conducted upon completion of prospective cohort study, with follow-up in either Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB), UK, or participant's own home following recent admission to QEHB. Outcome measures were acceptability as defined by total multi-domain score for each test (maximum score 35), and by frailty status.

RESULTS: Forty adults aged 70 years and older admitted for emergency abdominal surgery, elective colorectal surgery, or acute bacterial infections (general medicine) participated. Handgrip strength (median 33, IQR 30-35; p = 0.001), gait speed (median 32, IQR 30-35; p = 0.002), ultrasound quadriceps (median 33, IQR 31-35; p = 0.001), and BIA (median 33.5, IQR 31-35; p = 0.001) were considered highly acceptable. Participants responded positively that they enjoyed participating in these tests, and considered these tests of importance. There was no difference in scores between tests (p = 0.166). Individual total test scores did not differ between patients with and without frailty. Qualitative data are also presented on drivers for research participation.

CONCLUSIONS: Handgrip strength, gait speed, ultrasound quadriceps, and BIA are acceptable tests to older adults during and following hospitalisation. Our results may serve as standards when evaluating acceptability of other tests.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Prospectively registered February 2019:


Original languageEnglish
Article number141
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2021