Manual Dexterity as a Correlate of Dependency in the Elderly

Sharon K. Ostwald, David A. Snowdon, S. Del Marie Rysavy, Nora L. Keenan, Robert L Kane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Physical and mental correlates of dependent living were determined in 128 Catholic sisters (nuns), aged 75 to 94 years, who had similar social support systems and lifestyles. The primary a priori hypothesis was that poor manual dexterity would correlate strongly with living in the nursing home. Stepwise discriminant analysis indicated that manual dexterity explained 51% of the variance in the sisters' residential living site (ie, nursing home, retirement home, or living in community). The discriminant analysis equation using manual dexterity predicted living site correctly for 63% of the sisters in the nursing home with a specificity of 99%, a positive predictive value of 96% and a negative predictive value of 84%. The addition of age and mental status to the equation improved the prediction only slightly. 1989 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-969
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1989


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