IPPT for Seniors in early detection of health problems

Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) is always associated with National Service and the younger generations.

In recent years, a team of experts from the Singapore General Hospital and Sengkang General Hospital have developed an "IPPT" for our seniors, 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. Test components include a modified sit-and-reach, 10m walk and grip strength test.

Frailty is the result of ageing and underlying medical illnesses. It puts seniors at a higher risk of falls and hospitalisation. Frailty can be shown in symptoms such as unintentional weight loss of at least 4.5kg in the past year and slowness in walking.

"The development of frailty as one ages is very subtle and often goes unnoticed until a health crisis occurs," said Associate Professor Ng Yee Sien, a senior consultant from department of rehabilitation medicine at SGH and SKH. And in early detection, frailty is reversible with lifestyle changes

Seniors who complete the program will receive a health booklet with their results, and a Gold, Silver or Pass award. If they do not obtain at least a "Pass", their condition will be determined as frail or pre-frail.

Photo: Straits Times

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