Centre of Expertise Urban Vitality

Muscle strength is longitudinally associated with mobility among older adults after acute hospitalization

the Hospital-ADL study


Abstract Background: 30 to 60% of the acute hospitalized older adults experience functional decline after hospitalization. The first signs of functional decline after discharge can often be observed in the inability to perform mobility tasks, such as raising from a chair or walking. Information how mobility develops over time is scarce. Insight in the course of mobility is needed to prevent and decrease mobility limitations. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine (i) the course of mobility of acute hospitalized older adults and (ii) the association between muscle strength and the course of mobility over time controlled for influencing factors. Methods: In a multicenter, prospective, observational cohort study, measurements were taken at admission, discharge, one- and three months post-discharge. Mobility was assessed by the De Morton Mobility Index (DEMMI) and muscle strength by the JAMAR. The longitudinal association between muscle strength and mobility was analysed with a Linear Mixed Model and controlled for potential confounders. Results: 391 older adults were included in the analytic sample with a mean (SD) age of 79.6 (6.7) years. Mobility improved significantly from admission up to three months post-discharge but did not reach normative levels. Muscle strength was associated with the course of mobility (beta=0.64; p<0.01), even after controlling for factors as age, cognitive impairment, fear of falling and depressive symptoms (beta=0.35; p<0.01). Conclusion: Muscle strength is longitudinally associated with mobility. Interventions to improve mobility including muscle strength are warranted, in acute hospitalized older adults.

Reference Aarden, J. J., van der Schaaf, M., van der Esch, M., Reichardt, L. A., van Seben, R., Bosch, J. A., Twisk, J. W. R., Buurman, B. M., & Engelbert, R. H. H. (2019). Muscle strength is longitudinally associated with mobility among older adults after acute hospitalization: the Hospital-ADL study. PLoS ONE , 14(7), Article e0219041. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0219041
Published by  Urban Vitality 5 July 2019

Publication date

Jul 2019


Lucienne A. Reichardt
Rosanne van Seben
Jos A. Bosch
Jos W.R. Twisk
Bianca M. Buurman


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