Finger tap reaction time as an independent prognostic factor for functional outcome in older adults

Jae Seong Shim, Kwang Il Kim, Jae Young Lim, Ki Woong Kim, Won Seok Kim, Nam Jong Paik

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Background: Decline in physical performance has been established as a risk factor for mortality and disability in older adults. Although previous studies have reported the age-related changes in finger-tapping ability, no study has been published describing the prognostic implications of finger tap reaction time among community-dwelling older adults. Methods: A total of 433 participants (227 men and 206 women) aged over 65 years were enrolled in the Korean Longitudinal Study on Health and Aging. According to the finger tap reaction time, participants were divided into 2 groups: a fast-reaction group and a slow-reaction group. We analyzed the interaction between delay in motor speed measured using the finger-tapping task and 5-year poor functional outcome, defined as short physical performance battery (SPPB) scores of 9 or less or mortality, during the follow-up period. Results: A significant increase in the risk of poor functional outcome was observed in the slow-reaction group, compared with in the fast-reaction group, even after covariate adjustment using multiple logistic regression analysis (odds ratio, 2.21; 95% confidence interval, 1.37-3.58). Conclusion: We conclude that delayed finger tap reaction time is an independent prognostic factor for poor functional outcome in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-69
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Geriatric Medicine and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2017



  • Aged
  • Cohort study
  • Finger tapping
  • Physical activity
  • Prognosis

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