How much are upper or lower extremity disabilities associated with general health status in the elderly?

Young Hak Roh, Ki Woong Kim, Nam Jong Paik, Tae Kyun Kim, Hyun Sik Gong

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10 Scopus citations


Background Musculoskeletal complaints influence general health status, but the relative contribution of concurrent upper and lower extremity disabilities on patient perceptions of general health is unclear. Questions/Purposes We evaluated whether two regional instruments (DASH and WOMAC) reflect a patient's perception of general health measured using the SF-36 and determined whether general health components are explained by upper and lower extremity disabilities. Methods We recruited 272 randomly chosen participants 65 years or older without a history of surgery for musculoskeletal disease or trauma who participated in the Korean Longitudinal Study on Health and Aging. Upper extremity disability was determined with the DASH score and lower extremity disability with the WOMAC; as a measure of general health,we obtained SF-36 scores.Multivariate regression modeling was used to assess the relative contributions made by upper and lower extremity disabilities to general health. Results TheDASHandWOMACeach was correlated with the physical component summary (PCS) scale and with the mental component summary (MCS) scale to differing extents. Multivariate regression analyses revealed that WOMAC alone, DASH alone, and WOMAC and DASH accounted for 24%, 19%, and 26% of the variance in the PCS scale. However, only the DASH was associated with the MCS scale but accounted for only 2% of the variance. Conclusions We found that in a community-based elderly population, perceived general physical health is associated with upper and lower extremity disabilities, whereas perceived general mental health is associated with only upper extremity disabilities, but to a small extent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3246-3252
Number of pages7
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The institution of the authors (HSG, KWK) has received funding from Seongnam City Government in Korea (Grant No. 800-20050211) and Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals (Grant No. 06-05-039), which were used for laboratory fees and salaries for baseline data collection for the KLoSHA study. All ICMJE Conflict of Interest Forms for authors and Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research editors and board members are on file with the publication and can be viewed on request. Each author certifies that his or her institution approved the human protocol for this investigation, that all investigations were conducted in conformity with ethical principles of research, and that informed consent for participation in the study was obtained. This work was performed at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.


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