OARSI Adopts Tests for Physical Function in Hip and Knee OA

Apr 20, 2013

A set of six simple performance-based measures have been recommended by the Osteoarthritis Research Society International for assessing physical function in osteoarthritis of the knee and hip.

Based on recommendations from 10 expert advisers in 7 countries, the Ostoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) has recommended a set of five simple tests to assess physical function in osteoarthritis.

The focus of the tests, intended for both clinical use and research, was rising from a chair, climbing stairs, and walking. They are intended to supplement patient self-report as a measure of physical function.

The recommended measures include a  "minimal core set" of tests::

•  30-second Chair Stand Test:  How many times can the patient rise from a chair in 30 seconds?

•  40-meter Fast-paced Walk Test: A timed test of walking twice back and forth over a 10 m (33 ft) walkway.

•  Stair Climb Test:  How long does it take the patient to climb a set of stairs? When possible, a set of 9 steps with 20 cm (8 inch) risers is preferred; otherwise, the number of steps should be recorded.

and two additional recommended tests:

•  Timed Up & Go Test:  How many seconds does it take for the patient to rise from a chair, walk 3 m (9 ft 10 in), turn around, walk back to the chair and sit down (wearing shoes, using a walking aid if necessary).

•  6-minute Walk Test:  How far can the patient walk in ordinary shoes in the course of 6 minutes? Rest periods are allowed (but are counted in the time), and encouraging prompts ("You're doing great! Keep going!") are recommended.

A manual describing the OA performance tests in detail and supporting documents are available on the OARSI website.