The Virtual Short Physical Performance Battery.

The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences

PubMedID: 25829520

Marsh AP, Wrights AP, Haakonssen EH, Dobrosielski MA, Chmelo EA, Barnard RT, Pecorella A, Ip EH, Rejeski WJ. The Virtual Short Physical Performance Battery. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2015;.
Performance-based and self-report instruments of physical function are frequently used and provide complementary information. Identifying older adults with a mismatch between actual and perceived function has utility in clinical settings and in the design of interventions. Using novel, video-animated technology, the objective of this study was to develop a self-report measure that parallels the domains of objective physical function assessed by the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB)-the virtual SPPB (vSPPB).

The SPPB, vSPPB, the self-report Pepper Assessment Tool for Disability, the Mobility Assessment Tool-short form, and a 400-m walk test were administered to 110 older adults (mean age = 80.6±5.2 years). One-week test-retest reliability of the vSPPB was examined in 30 participants.

The total SPPB (mean [±SD] = 7.7±2.8) and vSPPB (7.7±3.2) scores were virtually identical, yet moderately correlated (r = .601, p < .05). The component scores of the SPPB and vSPPB were also moderately correlated (all p values <.01). The vSPPB (intraclass correlation = .963, p < .05) was reliable; however, individuals with the lowest function overestimated their overall lower extremity function while participants of all functional levels overestimated their ability on chair stands, but accurately perceived their usual gait speed.

In spite of the similarity between the SPPB and vSPPB, the moderate strength of the association between the two suggests that they offer unique perspectives on an older adult's physical function.