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Invited Commentary
Feb 27, 2012

Gait Speed in Hospitalized Older People: Comment on “Assessing Gait Speed in Acutely Ill Older Patients Admitted to an Acute Care for Elders Hospital Unit”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(4):358-359. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.1951

Ostir et al1 provide compelling evidence that simple performance measures of function, like gait speed, are powerful indicators of important health care outcomes, even in acutely ill older persons. Much of the prior work on performance measures was based in community-dwelling older populations, in which the assumption that performance measures were reliable in medically stable people was central to assumptions about predictive ability. Ostir et al show that performance measures in acutely ill, medically unstable older adults retain their ability to provide important clinical information.

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