Khairunisar-E-Rashim Mohammed Yusufirashim & Noraida Omar
1Department of Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Ageing entails many physiological changes among elderly which results in a decrease in functionality. One of these changes is muscle strength deterioration. Thus, this study aims to assess the hand grip strength of hospitalized elderly in Klang Valley.
Self-developed questionnaires were filled out through face-to-face interview and physical assessment where grip strength was measured with Jamar Plus+ Digital Hand Dynamometer, using cut off proposed by the Asian Working Group of Sarcopenia (2014), which is >26kg/force for men and >18kg/force for women normal hand grip strength. Data were collected from geriatric wards of three hospitals including Hospital Sungai Buloh, Hospital Kuala Lumpur and Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah using purposive and convenience sampling design.
Results & Discussion
A total of 57 subjects ranging from 60 to 86 years old were recruited with mean age of 72.27 ¬± 7.31 years while among the subjects, 42% were male and 58% were female subjects. The mean of hand grip strength found among the hospitalized elderly was 8.26 ¬± 6.94 kg/force with the mean of 10.63 ¬± 8.46 kg/force among male and 6.54 ¬± 5.07 kg/force among female subjects as there was a significant difference between the two groups [t (55)=2.273, p<0.05]. 95% of the hospitalized elderly was found to have low hand grip strength. Furthermore, mean hand grip strength for both genders was classified under the low hand grip strength category although male subjects have higher grip strength than female. This is explained by degenerative changes among elderly and differences in body composition between the genders, where men have larger muscle fibers than women.
This study highlighted a concern that majority of the hospitalized elderly has a low hand grip strength. Therefore, initiatives need to be taken to improve hand grip strength among elderly as a strategy in ensuring longer independency period, promising healthy ageing nation.