Screening for poor performance of lower extremity in primary care: The Camucia project

Chiara Cavazzini, Marco Conti, Stefania Bandinelli, Salvatore Gangemi, Marco Gallinella, Fulvio Lauretani, Giada Lucci, B. Gwen Windham, Jack M. Guralnik, Luigi Ferrucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background and aims: Individuals with poor lower extremity performance are prime candidates for disability prevention. The Camucia Project is a collaborative study between geriatricians and primary care physicians (PCPs) testing the hypothesis that PCPs can use a simple performance-based test to identify older persons with poor lower extremity function, without excessive interference with their clinical routine. We also hypothesized that the number needed to screen (NNTS) a positive case would be lower in physicians' clinics than in the general population. Methods: 23 PCPs administered the short physical performance battery (SPPB) to 360 consecutive, non-disabled and non-demented, 70- to 79-year-old outpatients. PCPs were asked to: 1) evaluate the feasibility and usefulness of administering the SPPB; 2) ascertain selected diseases according to pre-defined criteria; 3) identify causes of poor lower extremity function in patients with a SPPB score ≤9. NNTS from this study were compared with those estimated in non-disabled and non-demented, 70- to 79-year-old persons randomly selected from the InCHIANTI study population. Results: The majority of PCPs (20/23) reported that using the SPPB to evaluate older patients was feasible and useful. The NNTS in the outpatient clinics was lower than in the InCHIANTI participants (1.6 vs 4.3). Poor lower extremity performance was attributed to musculo-skeletal diseases in 75%, to more than one cause in 55% (128/234), and to no specific cause in 16.2% (37/234) of the participants with SPPB ≤9. Conclusions: Screening of older persons with poor lower extremity perfornance by PCPs is feasible and efficient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-336
Number of pages6
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Elderly
  • Lower extremity performance
  • Prevention of disability
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging


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