IPPT fitness test for the elderly developed to assess risk of frailty

Retiree Loy See Wee, 68, doing the modified sit and reach test.
Retiree Loy See Wee, 68, doing the modified sit and reach test.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Retiree Tan Swee Kang (middle), 71, doing the 10-metre walk.
Retiree Tan Swee Kang (middle), 71, doing the 10-metre walk.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
A care team facilitator checking Madam Rohani Jafar's pulse rate and oxygen saturation after her 6-minute walk test.
A care team facilitator checking Madam Rohani Jafar's pulse rate and oxygen saturation after her 6-minute walk test.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Mr Loy See Wee, 68, doing the box and block test.
Mr Loy See Wee, 68, doing the box and block test.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - A team of experts has developed an "IPPT test" for the elderly, with nine stations that measure balance, flexibility and strength.

The idea is to identify seniors who are at risk of frailty before falls or other health crises land them in hospital.

The fitness screening test was developed by a team of doctors and allied health professionals from the Singapore General Hospital and Sengkang General Hospital.

Its components include a modified sit-and-reach, 10m walk and grip strength test.

"Studies have shown that if detected early, frailty is reversible with appropriate physical, nutritional and cognitive approaches," said Associate Professor Ng Yee Sien, who is a rehabilitation physician from both hospitals.

The physical tests are followed by questionnaires to assess seniors' nutritional status and other risks.


Mr Loy doing the grip strength test. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR


Mr Loy doing the back scratch test. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR


Mr Loy doing a modified sit-and-reach. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR


Mr Loy doing the 30-seconds chair rise. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

The team behind the tests carried out a pilot project involving around 100 seniors in Rivervale earlier this year, and are hoping to reach out to at least 2,000 over the next three years.

They aim to screen people aged 55 or older, although participation is voluntary.