Estimating cutpoints of gait speed and sit-to-stand test values for self-reported mobility limitations in a cohort of community-dwelling older adults from Singapore: comparing receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis with adjusted predictive modelling

Yong-Hao Pua, Laura Tay, Berend Terluin, Ross Allan Clark, Julian Thumboo, Ee-Ling Tay, Shi-Min Mah, Yee-Sien Ng

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Objectives: Clinical interpretability of the gait speed and 5-times sit-to-stand (5-STS) tests is commonly established by comparing older adults with and without self-reported mobility limitations (SRML) on gait speed and 5-STS performance, and estimating clinical cutpoints for SRML using the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) method. Accumulating evidence, however, suggests that the adjusted predictive modeling (APM) method may be more appropriate to estimate these interpretational cutpoints. Thus, we aimed to compare, in community-dwelling older adults, gait speed and 5-STS cutpoints estimated using the ROC and APM methods. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting and Participants: This study analyzed data from 955 community-dwelling independently walking older adults (73%women) aged ≥60 years (mean, 68; range, 60–88). Methods: Participants completed the 10-metre gait speed and 5-STS tests. Participants were classified as having SRML if they responded "Yes" to either of the 2 questions regarding walking and stair climbing difficulty. Cutpoints for SRML and its component questions were estimated using ROC analysis with Youden criterion and the APM method. Results: The proportions of participants with self-reported walking difficulty, self-reported stair climbing difficulty, and SRML were 10%, 19%, and 22%, respectively. Gait speed and 5-STS time were moderately correlated with each other (r=-0.56) and with the self-reported measures (absolute r-values, 0.39–0.44). ROC-based gait speed cutpoints were 0.14 to 0.16 m/s greater than APM-based cutpoints (P < 0.05) whilst ROC-based 5-STS time cutpoints were 0.8 to 3.3 s lower than APM-based cutpoints (P < 0.05 for walking difficulty). Compared with ROC-based cutpoints, APM-based cutptoints were more precise and they varied monotonically with self-reported walking difficulty, self-reported stair climbing difficulty, and SRML. Conclusions and implications: In a sample of 955 older adults, our findings of precise and biologically plausible gait speed and 5-STS cutpoints for SRML estimated using the APM method indicate that this promising method could potentially complement or even replace traditional ROC methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105036
JournalArchives of gerontology and geriatrics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023


  • Cutoff score
  • Elderly
  • Gait speed
  • Mobility
  • Receiver operating characteristic analysis
  • Sit-to-stand test

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