The modified total body rotation test: A rapid, reliable assessment of physical function in older adults

Damian C. Stanziano, Joseph F. Signorile, Sara Mow, Erin E. Davidson, Joseph G. Ouslander, Bernard A. Roos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: To describe a quick, modified measure of total body rotation with performance rankings for elderly persons and to highlight the importance of total body rotational ability for overall physical performance. Design: Scores were collected during the same testing session and were compared with other measures using a Pearson correlation. Setting: Community-based senior centers. Participants: One hundred forty-five participants aged 79.6±7.2 were recruited using flyers distributed at health fairs, senior centers, and lifelong learning programs. Measurements: The modified total body rotation test (MTBR), the back-scratch test, the modified sit-and-reach test, the 30-second chair-stand test, the Short Physical Performance Battery, and the short version of the Continuous-Scale Physical Functional Performance Test. Results: The MBTR significantly correlated to all standard measures of physical performance. Norms are reported for all participants, and reliability analyses were conducted using data from 18 participants. Data were divided into quintiles to create cutoffs for physical performance rankings that can be used when reporting results to the general public. Conclusion: Many evaluations measure isolated components of physical performance, but few examine whole body movements that allow all components necessary for independence and function to work in harmony as needed considering the task and the individual's movement strategy. The current study offers the MTBR as a quick, easy, and cost-effective evaluation method to quantify the degree of impairment or injury and the rate of improvement with treatment or training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1965-1969
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Assessment
  • Axial rotation
  • Flexibility
  • Physical function
  • Range of motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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