View Full Version : Gold standard assessments of strength and functional ability

02-20-2007, 06:16 AM

I am currently replying to the comments of some reviewers on a grant
application and am searching for some information on what is considered
the gold standard for the assessment of muscular strength and functional
ability in older adults. In regards to functional ability, I mean the
ability to stand, walk, get out of a chair, climb stairs etc for older
adults. Are there in fact any gold standards for these aspects of

In the grant application we wrote, we were looking at using isoinertial
(1RM or 3RM) strength tests e.g. squat, lat pulldown and bench press as
they give an indication of strength in different movement patterns and
require various muscle groups as agonists. However, i get the impression
that the reviewer thinks we should use isokinetic tests. I am aware of
the issues with isokientic testing especially when used with an
isoinertial training program, but is there a definitive paper that
addresses these shortcomings of isokinetic tests? Also, any issues with
using a 3RM vs a 1RM? How valid is such an approach?

In regards to assessing functional ability in older adults, there are
lots of tests that we could use. Are there any more "gold standard"
approaches to assessing functional ability than tests such as the timed
up and go, sit to stand, walking speed, 15 sec step test etc? Is the
gold standard always such a field-based test? I have looked at using
questionnaires and wil be using some that assess various domains of
quality of life, but one reviewer also thinks that approach has issues.

I look forward to your replies.



Justin Keogh PhD
Senior Lecturer
Division of Sport and Recreation
Institute of Sport and Recreation Research New Zealand
AUT University
Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142
New Zealand
Room AH221I

Phone: 64-9-921-9999 ext 7617
Mobile: 027 344 1642
Fax: 64-9-921-9960
email: justin.keogh@aut.ac.nz