Assessing physical functioning in otolaryngology: Feasibility of the short physical performance battery

David S. Chen, Caitlin R. Blake, Dane J. Genther, Lingsheng Li, Frank R. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose Objective measures of physical functioning and mobility are considered to be the strongest indicators of overall health and mortality risk in older adults. These measures are not routinely used in otolaryngology research. We investigated the feasibility of using a validated physical performance battery to assess the functioning of older adults seen in a tertiary care otolaryngology clinic. Materials and methods The Short Physical Performance Battery was performed on 22 individuals aged 50 years or older enrolled in the Studying Multiple Outcomes after Aural Rehabilitative Treatment (SMART) study at Johns Hopkins. Results We successfully administered the SPPB to 22 participants, and this testing resulted in minimal participant and provider burden with respect to time, training, and space requirements. The mean time to complete 5 chair stands was 13.0 ± 3.8 seconds. The mean times for the side-by-side, semi-tandem, and tandem stands were 10.0 ± 0.0, 9.5 ± 2.1, and 8.8 ± 3.2 seconds, respectively. Mean walking speed was 1.1 ± 0.3 meters per second, and composite SPPB scores ranged from 6 to 12 (mean = 10.45, S.D. = 1.6). Conclusions Our results demonstrate the feasibility of implementing a standardized physical performance battery to assess physical functioning in a cohort of older adults seen in a tertiary otolaryngology clinic. We provide detailed instructions, references, and analytic methods for implementing the SPPB in future otolaryngology studies involving older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)708-712
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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