Timed Up and Go predicts functional decline in older patients presenting to the emergency department following minor trauma
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Background: there is no standardised test for assessing mobility in the Emergency Department (ED). Objective: we wished to evaluate the relationship between the Timed Up and Go (TUG) and frailty, functional decline and falls in community dwelling elders that present to the ED following minor trauma. Methods: this was a secondary analysis of a prospective cohort study conducted at eight Canadian hospitals. Evaluations included: TUG; Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Frailty Index; Older American Resources and Service Functional Scale; and self-reported falls. Of note, 3- and 6-month follow-up was conducted. Generalised linear model with log-binomial distribution was utilised. Relative risks (RR) and 95% CI were calculated. Results: TUG scores were available for 911/2918 patients, mean age 76.2 (SD 7.8) and 57.9% female. There was an association between TUG scores and frailty (P < 0.05) and functional decline at 3 (P < 0.05) and 6 (P < 0.05) months but not self-reported falls. For TUG scores 10-19 seconds, 20-29 seconds and ≥30 seconds, respectively: (i) frailty RR (95% CI): 1.8 (1.3-2.4), 3.0 (2.2-4.2) and 3.7 (2.6-5.1); (ii) functional decline RR (95% CI): 2.7 (1.1-6.4), 5.5 (2.1-14.3) and 8.9 (3.0-25.8); (iii) falls RR (95% CI): 0.9 (0.5-1.5), 1.3 (0.6-2.5) and 1.1 (0.4-3.5). Conclusion: in community dwelling elders presenting to the ED following minor trauma, TUG scores were associated with frailty and strongly associated with functional decline at 3 and 6 months post injury. TUG scores were not associated with self-reported falls. Use of the TUG in the ED will help identify frail patients at risk of functional decline.
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