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Physical and Psychical Conditions Decline of Older People With Age, Measured by Functional Reach Test and by Mini Mental State Examination

[+] Author Affiliations
Marianna Costarella, Stefano Maria Zuccaro

Rome Israelitic Hospital, Rome, Italy

Lucilla Monteleone, Roberto Steindler

Rome University “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy

Paper No. ESDA2008-59055, pp. 37-43; 7 pages
  • ASME 2008 9th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis
  • Volume 2: Automotive Systems; Bioengineering and Biomedical Technology; Computational Mechanics; Controls; Dynamical Systems
  • Haifa, Israel, July 7–9, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: International
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4836-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3827-7
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


There are several tests to value the psychophysical characteristics of older people and, among all, the most suitable to this aim are here considered the Functional Reach (FR) test, as an index of the aptitude to maintain balance in upright position, and the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), as a global index of cognitive abilities. The sample of older people we have analysed concerns 50 healthy subjects divided into three groups according to the age (15 from 55 to 64 years old, 19 from 65 to 74 years old, and 16 more than 75 years old); they underwent a FR test, which consists first in the measurement of the anthropometric characteristics, then in the execution of the test itself, and finally in the study of the upright posture carried out analysing the Centre of Pressure (COP) trend; they underwent as well a MMSE to value the main areas of the cognitive function concerning the space-temporal orientation, the short-term memory, the attention ability, the calculus ability and the praxis-constructive ability. The results of these tests show, according to the age, a loss both of the physical performances (FR, FR related to height, and COP displacement), and of the cognitive abilities (MMSE); however, in all cases, the only significant changes are those between the first and the other two groups of age. A comparison between the results of male and female subjects inside the three groups, although the results of the males are generally superior to the female ones, is never significant; moreover, the differences of the FR tests, in particular, are completely not significant if compared to the height of the subjects. Finally, a comparison between FR and MMSE shows a quicker decline of the physical performances with regard to the cognitive ones.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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