April 2009

Document Type


Degree Name



Oregon Health & Science University


Older adults often experience loss of function during hospitalization, thus clinical care activities, like transferring, are part of routine hospital care to prevent functional decline. A paucity of research exists to measure this type of activity objectively. This instrument feasibility study evaluated the utility of the Actiheart™ to measure heart rate and motion responses to five activities, turning, dangling, transferring, sitting, and walking. Fifty-four adults aged 65 and older (M=72), scheduled for surgery, participated in a simulation of the five clinical care activities. The study’s major findings indicate that the Actiheart™: 1) successfully measured motion and heart rate during various activities; 2) worked well to measure activities that may not show much change in motion alone (like sitting) or heart rate alone (like transferring); 3) discriminated between different clinical care activities, some more consistently than others; 4) discriminated heart rate and motion differences within each clinical care activity; and 5) can reasonably measure heart rate and motion even in the presence of covariates such as gender and BMI. This study was the first to explore the utility and feasibility of the Actiheart™ in a cohort of older adults in a hospital-like environment. It should next be used in an inpatient setting to examine activity patterns of older adults during hospitalization.




School of Nursing



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