Reliability of the Groningen Fitness Test for the Elderly

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Koen A.P.M. Lemmink
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Kemper Han
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Mathieu H.G. de Greef
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Piet Rispens
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Martin Stevens
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Several items of the Groningen Fitness Test for the Elderly (GFE) were tested. The GFE tests were administered twice, with 1 week between sessions. The participants were 458 independently living adults >55 years of age. For most tests, there was reasonable agreement between sessions, indicating absolute objectivity and stability, but results on the block-transfer test revealed a learning effect. Mean scores on the balance-board and sit-and-reach tests showed significant improvement, whereas grip-strength results deteriorated significantly. All tests satisfied the criteria for relative reliability. In conclusion, absolute and relative reliability of the tests of the GFE were satisfactory. If multiple applications of the GFE are planned for the same group of participants, 1 or more practice trials should be executed for the block-transfer test to avoid a learning effect. A standard warm-up protocol is recommended for the sit-and-reach test. Participants should be strongly encouraged to give a maximum effort on the strength tests.

Lemmink, de Greef, Rispens, and Stevens are with the Department of Human Movement Sciences at the University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands. Han is with the EMGO Institute, Medical Faculty, at Vrije Universileit Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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