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01.12.2017 | Research Article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Geriatrics 1/2017

Characteristics of disability in activity of daily living in elderly people associated with locomotive disorders

BMC Geriatrics > Ausgabe 1/2017
Tsutomu Iwaya, Tokuhide Doi, Atsushi Seichi, Yuichi Hoshino, Toru Ogata, Masami Akai



Ageing is associated with a decline of motor function and ability to perform daily activities. Locomotive disorders are one of the major disorders resulting in adverse health condition in elderly people. Concept of Locomotive syndrome (LoS) was proposed to tackle the problems and prolong healthy life expectancy of people with locomotive disorders. To develop intervention strategy for LoS it is mandatory to investigate impairments, functional disabilities which people with locomotive disorder experience and to examine relationships among these parameters. For this purpose we have developed Geriatric Locomotive Function Scale-25 (GLFS-25). Though several physical performance tests were reported for identification or monitoring the severity of LoS, there are few studies reported on characteristics of disability which people with locomotive disorders experience.
The aim of this study was to report the characteristics of ADL disabilities in elderly people with locomotive disorders in terms of numbers and degree of activity limitations.


We organized a cohort study and recruited 314 participants aged 65 years and over from five orthopedic clinics or nursing care facilities. This was a cross-sectional study to use the baseline data of such cohort. ADL disabilities were assessed using GLFS-25 scale arranging the GLFS-25 scores in ordinal levels using “R language” program. Numbers and degrees of activity limitations were determined and compared among the levels. Frequency of limitation in activities regarding social activity, housework, locomotion, mobility and self-care was compared among across the disability level.


The GLFS-25 score was mathematically categorized into 7 levels. The number of activity limitations and the degrees of each activity limitation were significantly greater in high GLFS-25 levels than in low levels. Difficulties in mobility appeared in less severe level, difficulties in domestic and social life appeared in moderately severe level, and difficulties in self-care appeared in advanced level.


High GLFS-25 score represented high degree of disability on ADLs. Concordant increase of numbers of activity limitation and severity progression in activity limitation may contribute to progression of disability. Activity limitation may occur in the following order: sports activity, walking, transferring, and self-care.
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