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Danielle R. Bouchard, K. Ashlee McGuire, Lance Davidson and Robert Ross

One hundred forty-six abdominally obese adults age 60–80 yr were studied to investigate the interaction between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and obesity on functional limitation. Obesity was determined by fat mass (FM), CRF was determined by a maximal treadmill test, and functional limitation was based on 4 different tasks that are predictive of subsequent disability. Both FM (r = –.34, p ≤ .01) and CRF (r = .54, p ≤ .01) were independently associated with functional limitation in bivariate analysis. After further control for sex, age, and the interaction term (CRF × FM), FM was no longer independently associated with functional limitation (p = .10). Analyses were also based on sex-specific tertiles of FM and CRF. The referent group demonstrated significantly lower functional limitation than the low-CRF/low-FM and the low-CRF/high-FM groups (both p ≤ .05). These results highlight the value of recommending exercise for abdominally obese adults.

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Andréa L. Maslow, Anna E. Price, Xuemei Sui, Duck-chul Lee, Ikka Vuori and Steven N. Blair


This study examined the associations of body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) with incident functional limitation (IFL) in adults.


Patients (n = 2400), 30+ years [mean age, 45.2 (SD, 8.3); 12% women], completed a baseline health examination during 1979 to 1995. CRF was quantified by age-and sex-specific thirds for maximal treadmill exercise test duration. Adiposity was assessed by BMI and WC (grouped for analysis according to clinical guidelines). Incident IFL was identified from mail-back surveys during 1995, 1999, and 2004.


After adjusting for potential confounders and either BMI or WC, CRF was inversely related to IFL (P trend < .001). The association between BMI and IFL was significant after adjusting for all confounders (P trend = .002), but not after additional adjustment for CRF (P trend = .23). After controlling for all confounders and CRF, high WC was associated with greater odds of IFL in those aged 30 to 49; normal WC was associated with greater odds of IFL in those aged 50+.


CRF was a significant predictor of IFL in middle aged and older adults, independent of overall or abdominal adiposity. Clinicians should consider the importance of preserving functional capacity by recommending regular physical activity for normal-weight and overweight individuals.

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Daniël M. van Leeuwen, Fabian van de Bunt, Cornelis J. de Ruiter, Natasja M. van Schoor, Dorly J.H. Deeg and Kaj S. Emanuel

knee OA was defined as K&L grade 2 or higher. Self-reported functional limitations and physical activity Knee OA-related functional limitations were assessed with the WOMAC. Scores were transformed to a 0 to 100 scale, where 100 was considered the best outcome, indicating no impairments and high

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Douglas R. Keskula and Jason Lott


To define, identify, and briefly describe functional outcome measures for assessing functional limitations and disability in athletes with shoulder conditions.

Data Sources:

The MEDLINE and CINAHL databases were searched for English-language articles published from 1982 to 2000, using the terms functional outcomes, shoulder, questionnaires, disability, and functional limitations, among others.

Study Selection:

The authors identified disease-specific self-report questionnaires that assess functional limitations and disability in patients with shoulder dysfunction.

Data Synthesis:

When describing outcome measures, the authors considered the items to be assessed, the measurement properties, and the practicality of the test. They categorized the available measures designed to assess patients with shoulder instability or general shoulder conditions.


The ability to define and measure function is a fundamental consideration in managing athletes with shoulder dysfunction. The measures described might be useful in assessing functional limitations and disability in such athletes.

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Enrique V. Smith-Forbes, Stephanie D. Moore-Reed, Philip M. Westgate, W. Ben Kibler and Tim L. Uhl


Recent establishment of G-codes by the US government requires therapists to report function limitations at initial evaluation. Limited information exists specific to the most common limitations in patients with shoulder pain.


To describe the most commonly expressed shoulder limitations with activities and their severity/level of impairment from a patient’s perspective on the initial evaluation.




Patients reporting pain with overhead activity and seeking medical attention from one orthopedic surgeon were recruited as part of a cohort study.


176 with shoulder superior labral tear from anterior to posterior (SLAP), subacromial impingement, combined SLAP and rotator cuff, and nonspecific (female = 53, age = 41 ± 13 y; male = 123, age = 41 ± 12 y).


Data were obtained on the initial visit from the Patient-Specific Functional Scale (PSFS) questionnaire. Three researchers extracted meaningful concepts from the PSFS and linked them to the International Classification of Functioning (ICF) categories according to established ICF linking rules.


176 participants yielded 765 meaningful concepts that were linked to the ICF with a 66% agreement between researchers before consensus. There were no differences between diagnoses. Of all patients, 88% reported functional limitations coded into meaningful concepts as represented by 10 ICF codes; 634 (83%) meaningful concepts were linked to the activities and participation domain while 129 (17%) were linked to the body function domain. Only 2 reported functional limitations that were considered nondefinable (nd). The overall average initial impairment score on the PSFS = 4 ± 2.5 out of 10 points.


Meaningful concepts from the activities and participation domain were most commonly identified as functional limitations and were more prevalent than limitations from the body function domain. This information helps identify some of the most common limitations in patients with shoulder pain that therapists can use to efficiently document patient functional impairment.

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Jack M. Guralnik, Suzanne Leveille, Stefano Volpato, Marcia S. Marx and Jiska Cohen-Mansfield

Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that, using objective performance measures of physical functioning, disability risk can be predicted in nondisabled older adults. This makes it possible to recruit a nondisabled but at-risk population for clinical trials of disability prevention. Successful disability prevention in this population, for example through an exercise program, would have a major public health impact. To enhance the development of exercise interventions in this group it would be valuable to have additional information not available from existing epidemiologic studies. This report examines the evidence that functional limitations preceding disability can be identified in a community-dwelling population and that it is feasible to recruit these people into studies. It introduces a series of articles examining the characteristics of this population: motivators and barriers to exercise, exercise habits and preferences, the impact of positive and negative affect, and the impact of pain and functional limitations on attitudes toward exercise.

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Sarah Roberts, Elizabeth Awick, Jason T. Fanning, Diane Ehlers, Robert W. Motl and Edward McAuley

Previous evidence suggests physical activity interventions effectively produce short-term improvements in physical function for older adults. The present study examined whether improvements in physical function after a DVD-delivered exercise intervention were maintained 18 months postintervention. Older adults (n = 153) randomized to a 6-month DVD-delivered exercise intervention or an attentional control condition were contacted 18 months postintervention. Participants completed the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) and measures of flexibility, strength, and functional limitations were taken. Analyses of variance were conducted to determine if improvements in physical function as a result of the intervention were maintained at follow-up. Improvements in the SPPB, F (1,125) = 3.70, p = .06, η2 = .03, and upper body strength, F (1,121) = 3.04, p = .08, η2 = .03 were maintained for the intervention condition. Home-based DVD exercise training interventions may hold promise for long-term maintenance of physical function in older adults.

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M. Elaine Cress, David M. Buchner, Thomas Prohaska, James Rimmer, Marybeth Brown, Carol Macera, Loretta DiPietro and Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko

Physical activity offers one of the greatest opportunities for people to extend years of active independent life and reduce functional limitations. The article identifies key practices for promoting physical activity in older adults, with a focus on those with chronic disease or low fitness and those with low levels of physical activity. Key practices identified: (a) A multidimensional activity program that includes endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility training is optimal for health and functional benefits; (b) principles of behavior change including social support, self-efficacy, active choices, health contracts, assurances of safety, and positive reinforcement enhance adherence; (c) manage risk by beginning at low intensity but gradually increasing to moderate physical activity, which has a better risk:benefit ratio and should be the goal for older adults; (d) an emergency procedure plan is prudent for community-based programs; and (e) monitoring aerobic intensity is important for progression and motivation. Selected content review of physical activity programming from major organizations and institutions is provided.

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Victoria Fauntroy, Marcie Fyock, Jena Hansen-Honeycutt, Esther Nolton and Jatin P. Ambegaonkar

Clinical Scenario: Dancers participate in a functionally demanding activity. Athletic participation typically requires the completion of a preparticipation examination, which involves a functional movement screen offering insight into potential injury recognition. The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) was created to measure the status of movement–pattern-related pain and dysfunction using regionally interdependent movement to aggravate symptoms and exhibit limitations and dysfunctions. Still, a functional assessment has not been identified to recognize potential dysfunctions or limitations in this population. Clinical Question: Does the use of the SFMA improve overall evaluation of dancers by providing more information on a dancer’s overall functional ability and limitations? Summary of Key Findings: The literature search discovered 12 studies and 3 books in which 4 studies were included (2 case reviews, 1 case report, and 1 original research study) based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Three of the studies provided clinical case studies utilizing the SFMA to improve the patient’s dysfunctions, whereas 1 study examined the intrarater and interrater reliability of the SFMA. In 3 studies, participants displayed less movement dysfunction. The authors from 3 of the studies agreed the SFMA was a valuable tool for clinicians to use during evaluations, as it provided a more holistic view of the patient, discovering dysfunctional movement patterns that may better identify the source of injury. Clinical Bottom Line: Low-quality evidence, defined as poorly designed case studies, case series, and cohort studies, exist that supports improvement of overall evaluations when utilizing the SFMA. Although the studies were considered low-quality evidence, each included study displayed an effective use of the SFMA as an overall evaluation that correctly identified dysfunctional movement patterns. Strength of Recommendation: Grade C evidence exists that the SFMA contributes to the functional evaluation used in dancers.

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Minna Rasinaho, Mirja Hirvensalo, Raija Leinonen, Taru Lintunen and Taina Rantanen

The purpose of this study was to investigate what older adults with severe, moderate, or no mobility limitation consider motives for and barriers to engaging in physical exercise. Community-dwelling adults (N = 645) age 75–81 years completed a questionnaire about their motives for and barriers to physical exercise and answered interview questions on mobility limitation. Those with severely limited mobility more often reported poor health, fear and negative experiences, lack of company, and an unsuitable environment as barriers to exercise than did those with no mobility limitation. They also accentuated disease management as a motive for exercise, whereas those with no or moderate mobility limitation emphasized health promotion and positive experiences related to exercise. Information about differences in motives for and barriers to exercise among people with and without mobility limitation helps tailor support systems that support engagement in physical activity among older adults.