New on JHND Early View- Measuring height in elderly patients

JHND logoAgreement between different methods of measuring height in elderly patientsH. Frid, E. Thors Adolfsson, A. Rosenblad and M. Nydahl, Uppsala University, Sweden.

Background: 

The present study aimed to examine the agreement between measurements of standing height and self-reported height, height measured with a sliding caliper, and height estimated from either demispan or knee height in elderly patients.

Methods: 

Fifty-five patients (mean age 79 years) at a Swedish hospital were included in this observational study. The participants’ heights were evaluated as the standing height, self-reported height, height measured in a recumbent position with a sliding caliper, and height estimated from the demispan or knee height.

Results: 

The measurements made with a sliding caliper in the recumbent position agreed most closely with the standing height. Ninety-five percent of the individuals’ differences from standing height were within an interval of +1.1 to −4.8 cm (limits of agreement). Self-reported height and height estimated from knee height differed relatively strongly from standing height. The limits of agreement were +5.2 to −9.8 cm and +9.4 to −6.2 cm, respectively. The widest distribution of differences was found in the height estimated from the demispan, with limits of agreements from +11.2 to −9.3 cm.

Conclusions: 

When measuring the height of patients who find it difficult to stand upright, a sliding caliper should be the method of choice, and the second choice should be self-reported height or the height estimated from knee height. Estimating height from the demispan should be the method of last resort.

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