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Hospitals in Singapore introduce “IPPT” for seniors

The test will be used to gauge the health risks and frailty of the elderly.

PHOTO: SGH

SINGAPORE – An adapted Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) was introduced for seniors to measure their health risks and frailty. IPPT for Seniors or IPPT-S was introduced in a joint press release by Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and Sengkang General Hospital (SKH).

The test will serve as a “comprehensive community frailty screening programme” and will include several physical exercises. Some of the physical exercises include: back reach, sit-and-reach, grip strength and a 10-metre walk. In addition to the physical tests, participants will answer a questionnaire which will be used to assess their diet, medical condition and their ability to perform their daily activities.

Similar to the IPPT that National Servicemen undergo, seniors who complete the test will be awarded with a pass, silver or gold award based on the results. Staff and volunteers from senior activity centres would then follow up with seniors who participated in the screening programme.

During a pilot of IPPT-S which took place earlier in June this year, a third of the participants were deemed at risk of being frail.

According to Associate Professor Ng Yee Sien, a senior consultant from department of rehabilitation medicine at SGH and SKH, “The development of frailty as one ages is very subtle and often goes unnoticed until a health crisis occurs”. According to Mr Ng, this programme will also help highlight at-risk groups so that targeted measures can be implemented.

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