The „Short Physical Performance Battery“ in the Czech Republic –  the pilot and validation study in older persons

Authors: M. Berková 1;  E. Topinková 1;  P. Mádlová 1;  J. Klán 1;  M. Vlachová 1;  J. Běláček 2
Authors‘ workplace: Geriatrická klinika 1. lékařské fakulty UK a VFN Praha, přednostka prof. MU Dr. Eva Topinková, CSc. 1;  Ústav bio­fyziky a informatiky 1. lékařské fakulty UK Praha, přednosta prof. MU Dr. RNDr. Jiří Beneš, CSc. 2
Published in: Vnitř Lék 2013; 59(4): 256-263
Category: Original Contributions


Population ageing increases number of seniors with decline of physical capabilities and functional deficits. Targeted interventions to maintain or increase physical performance are most effective before the development of full frailty, in so-called „pre‑frail“ period. One of the assessment tools for evaluation of the physical performance and/ or frailty in older persons is the „Short Physical Performance Battery“ –  SPPB. The aim of the study was to introduce the assessment battery to clinical practice in the CR and to evaluate its selected psychometric properties.

Original English SPPB was translated into Czech language and back translated to ensure linguistic accuracy. SPPB was applied in the selected sample of older persons and validated against other performance tools for cognition, self- care and nutrition status used in CR and selected psychometric properties evaluated.

We examined 145 older persons (108 women, i.e. 74.48 % and 37 men, i.e. 25.52 %) mean age 80.38 years (54– 101 years, SD ± 8,47). We found good physical performance in 35 (24.1 %) older persons (SPPB 10– 12 points), 21 (14.5 %) were identified as pre‑frail (SPPB 7– 9 points) and 89 (61.4 %) as frail in high risk of future disability or already disabled (SPPB ≤ 6 points). We found statistically significant correlation of global SPPB score with nutritional status (MNA- Short Form), activities of daily living performance (ADL) and cognitive performance (MMSE) –  (Spearman correlation ρ = 0.51; 0.53 and 0.38 respectively). The Cronbach’s a for SPPB variables scored 0.821, which is consistent with good internal consistency of SPPB battery. When evaluating 3 age groups [≤ 75 years (n = 41), 76– 85 (n = 62) and 86– 101 years (n = 42)] the most significant correlations were found between SPPB and MNA, ADL and MMSE in the young elderly (ρ = 0.74, 0.79 and 0.64 respectively) and they diminished with increasing age.

We confirmed significant correlations between SPPB and self care activities, cognitive performance and nutritional status and good internal consistency of the battery. SPPB test is simple, easy to perform, with low time and cost requirements. It could be recommended for clinical practice in both community and hospitalized older patients to evaluate their overall physical performance and identify persons at risk of frailty and disability who may profit from targeted interventions.

Key words:
Short Physical Performance Battery –  frailty syndrome –  older persons


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