People with chronic kidney disease have a high prevalence of poor physical function, which in turn is associated with poor health-related quality of life, and an increased risk of adverse events, including hospitalizations and all-cause mortality. Implementing early interventions may prove to be effective for preventing decline in physical function; however, it is imperative that clinicians screen patients to identify those at the highest risk of decline. In this review, we present subjective and objective screening tools that can easily and cost-effectively be implemented into routine nephrology practice to assess physical function.
Physical function can be assessed using commonly used physical performance tests that include objective measures, such as tests measuring gait speed, balance, chair-stand ability, and handgrip strength, as well as tests that include subjective self-reported measures.
The validated tools summarized in this review offer clinicians the ability to identify people at risk of poor physical function, in turn affording the opportunity to implement interventions for optimum management of risk of physical decline, preventing adverse health outcomes, and encouraging independence.