Background: Screening for poor physical performance has the potential to identify older adults at risk for loss of future independence, yet clinically feasible measures have yet to be identified. Methods: Using data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study, we evaluated the diagnostic utility of self-reported physical capacities of older adults (walking three blocks or six blocks, climbing 10 stairs or 20 stairs) compared to the objectively measured Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). Sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratio (LR) were calculated across three SPPB cut-points (≤8, ≤9, ≤10). Results: Sensitivity of single item-measures for detecting a low SBBP averaged 0.39 (range: 0.26–0.52), specific averaged 0.97 (range: 0.94–0.99) and likelihood ratio averaged 20.0 (range: 9.0–35.5). Among age and gender subgroups, all measures maintained clinically applicable LRs (minimum = 4.59). Conclusion: Single-item self-reported physical capacities are accurate for screening older adults with physical limitations, making them potentially useful in healthcare settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGerontology and Geriatric Medicine
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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