Sarc-F and muscle function in community dwelling adults with aged care service needs: baseline and post-training relationship

Keogh, Justin W. L. and Henwood, Tim and Gardiner, Paul A. ORCID: and Tuckett, Anthony G. and Hetherington, Sharon and Rouse, Kevin and Swinton, Paul (2019) Sarc-F and muscle function in community dwelling adults with aged care service needs: baseline and post-training relationship. PeerJ, 7:e8140. pp. 1-19.

Text (Published Version)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Background. This study sought to better understand the psychometric properties of the SARC-F, by examining the baseline and training-related relationships between the five SARC-F items and objective measures of muscle function. Each of the five items of the SARC-F are scored from 0 to 2, with total score of four or more indicative of likely sarcopenia.

Methods. This manuscript describes a sub-study of a larger step-wedge, randomised controlled 24-week progressive resistance and balance training (PRBT) program trial for Australian community dwelling older adults accessing government supported aged care. Muscle function was assessed using handgrip strength, isometric knee extension, 5-time repeated chair stand and walking speed over 4 m. Associations within and between SARC-F categories and muscle function were assessed using multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and multinomial regression, respectively.

Results. Significant associations were identified at baseline between SARC-F total score and measures of lower-body muscle function (r = to 0.57; p <= 0.002) in 245 older adults. MCA analysis indicated the first three dimensions of the SARC-F data explained 48.5% of the cumulative variance. The initial dimension represented overall sarcopenia diagnosis, Dimension 2 the ability to displace the body vertically, and Dimension 3 walking ability and falls status. The majority of the 168 older adults who completed the PRBT program reported no change in their SARC-F diagnosis or individual item scores (56.5-79.2%). However, significant associations were obtained between trainin-grelated changes in SARC-F total and item scores and changes in walking speed and chair stand test performance (r = to 0.33; p < 0.001 and relative risk ratio = 0.40-2.24; p < 0.05, respectively). MCA analysis of the change score data indicated that the first two dimensions explained 32.2% of the cumulative variance, with these dimensions representing whether a change occurred and the direction of change, respectively.

Discussion. The results advance our comprehension of the psychometric properties on the SARC-F, particularly its potential use in assessing changes in muscle function. Older adults' perception of their baseline and training-related changes in their function, as self-reported by the SARC-F, closely matched objectively measured muscle function tests. This is important as there may be a lack of concordance between self-reported and clinician-measured assessments of older adults' muscle function. However, the SARC-F has a relative lack of sensitivity to detecting training-related changes, even over a period of 24 weeks.

Conclusions. Results of this study may provide clinicians and researchers a greater understanding of how they may use the SARC-F and its potential limitations. Future studies may wish to further examine the SARC-F's sensitivity of change, perhaps by adding a few additional items or an additional category of performance to each item.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 43574
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright 2019 Keogh et al. Distributed under Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2021 01:45
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:28
Uncontrolled Keywords: aged care; exercise; physical performance; Sarcopenia; screening
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110308 Geriatrics and Gerontology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110602 Exercise Physiology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420603 Health promotion
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320210 Geriatrics and gerontology
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420702 Exercise physiology
Identification Number or DOI:

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only