Ann Geriatr Med Res 2017; 21(2): 64-69
Finger Tap Reaction Time as an Independent Prognostic Factor for Functional Outcome in Older Adults
Jae Seong Shim1, Kwang-Il Kim2, Jae-Young Lim1, Ki Woong Kim3,4, Won-Seok Kim1, Nam-Jong Paik1
Departments of 1Rehabilitation Medicine, 2Internal Medicine, and 3Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, 4Department of Brain and Cognitive Science, Seoul National University College of Natural Sciences, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Nam-Jong Paik, MD, PhD
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, 82 Gumi-ro 173beon-gil, Bundang-gu, Seongnam 13620, Korea
Tel: +82-31-787-7731 Fax:+82-31-787-4056 E-mail:
Received: March 30, 2017; Revised: May 20, 2017; Accepted: May 30, 2017; Published online: June 30, 2017.
© The Korea Geriatrics Society. All rights reserved.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: Decline in physical performance has been established as a risk factor for mortality and disability in older adults. Although previous studies have reported the age-related changes in finger-tapping ability, no study has been published describing the prognostic implications of finger tap reaction time among community-dwelling older adults. Methods: A total of 433 participants (227 men and 206 women) aged over 65 years were enrolled in the Korean Longitudinal Study on Health and Aging. According to the finger tap reaction time, participants were divided into 2 groups: a fast-reaction group and a slow-reaction group. We analyzed the interaction between delay in motor speed measured using the finger-tapping task and 5-year poor functional outcome, defined as short physical performance battery (SPPB) scores of 9 or less or mortality, during the follow-up period. Results: A significant increase in the risk of poor functional outcome was observed in the slow-reaction group, compared with in the fast-reaction group, even after covariate adjustment using multiple logistic regression analysis (odds ratio, 2.21; 95% confidence interval, 1.37-3.58). Conclusion: We conclude that delayed finger tap reaction time is an independent prognostic factor for poor functional outcome in older adults.
Keywords: Finger tapping, Physical activity, Aged, Cohort study, Prognosis

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