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19.05.2017 | Ausgabe 3/2018

The journal of nutrition, health & aging 3/2018

Assessment of Physical Activity of Hospitalised Older Adults: A Systematic Review

Zeitschrift:
The journal of nutrition, health & aging > Ausgabe 3/2018
Autoren:
Stephen E. R. Lim, K. Ibrahim, A. A. Sayer, H. C. Roberts

Abstract

Background

The assessment of physical activity levels of hospitalised older people requires accurate and reliable measures. Physical activities that older people in hospital commonly engage in include exercises and walking. Measurement of physical activity levels of older inpatients is essential to evaluate the impact of interventions to improve physical activity levels and to determine associations between physical activity in hospital and other health-related outcome measures.

Objective

To determine which measures are used to measure physical activity of older people in hospital, and to describe their properties and applications.

Method

A systematic review of four databases: Medline, Embase, CINAHL and AMED was conducted for papers published from 1996 to 2016. Inclusion criteria were participants aged ≥ 65 years and studies which included measures of physical activity in the acute medical inpatient setting. Studies which specifically assessed the activity levels of surgical patients or patients with neurological conditions such as stroke or brain injury were excluded. All study designs were included in the review.

Results

18 studies were included from 127 articles selected for full review. 15 studies used objective measures to measure the physical activity of older inpatients: 11 studies used accelerometers and four used direct systematic observations. Seven accelerometers were identified including the StepWatch Activity Monitor, activPAL, GENEActiv, Kenz Lifecorder EX, Actiwatch-L, Tractivity and AugmenTech Inc. Pittsburgh accelerometer. Three studies used a subjective measure (interviews with nurses and patients) to classify patients into low, intermediate and high mobility groups. The StepWatch Activity Monitor was reported to be most accurate at step-counting in patients with slow gait speed or altered gait. The activPAL was reported to be highly accurate at classifying postures.

Conclusion

Physical activity levels of older inpatients can be measured using accelerometers. The accuracy of the accelerometers varies between devices and population-specific validation studies are needed to determine their suitability in measuring physical activity levels of hospitalised older people. Subjective measures are less accurate but can be a practical way of measuring physical activity in a larger group of patients.

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