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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

European Review of Aging and Physical Activity 1/2018

Self- vs proxy-reported mobility using the mobility assessment tool-short form in elderly preoperative patients

European Review of Aging and Physical Activity > Ausgabe 1/2018
Sunghye Kim, Michael E. Miller, Marina Lin, W. Jack Rejeski, Stephen B. Kritchevsky, Anthony P. Marsh, Leanne Groban
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s11556-018-0194-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Mobility is fundamental to maintenance of an independent lifestyle and can predict clinical outcomes after health events among older individuals. However, certain clinical situations do not accommodate physical or self-assessments. This investigation examines whether proxy-reported assessments of function using the Mobility Assessment Tool-short (MAT-sf) form is a reliable alternative.


Sixty-six older persons (≥ age 70) and their proxies were enrolled. Proxies rated patients’ mobility using the MAT-sf as did the patients.


The mean age of patients was 78.4 yr. (±6.2); 44% were female and 86% were white. Spouses made up 55% of the proxies, while 39% were children/in-laws. The correlation coefficient between patient and proxy MAT-sf scores was 0.81 (p < 0.01); a comparison of the slope of the regression line relating patient- and proxy-reported MAT-sf to a line of identity showed disagreement (p < 0.01), with proxy reports underreporting patient responses by 8.3% in lower mobility patients. The intra-class correlation characterizing agreement between repeated proxy reports 0.81.


Proxy reports of mobility in older patients have good reliability. However, in patients with poor mobility, the proxies tend to report a lower mobility than the patients.

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