1Orthopaedic Hand and Upper Extremity Service
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA
2Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA
3Massachusetts General Hospital, Behavioral Med Services,
Background: Little is known about the influence of habitual participation in physical exercise and diet on upper-extremity physical function in older adults. To assess the relationship of general physical exercise and diet to upper-extremity physical function and pain intensity in older adults.
Methods: A cohort of 111 patients 50 or older completed a sociodemographic survey, the Rapid Assessment of Physical Activity (RAPA), an 11-point ordinal pain intensity scale, a Mediterranean diet questionnaire, and three Patient- Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) based questionnaires: Pain Interference to measure inability to engage in activities due to pain, Upper-Extremity Physical Function, and Depression. Multivariable linear regression modeling was used to characterize the association of physical activity, diet, depression, and pain interference to pain intensity and upper-extremity function. Results: Higher general physical activity was associated with higher PROMIS Upper-Extremity Physical Function and lower pain intensity in bivariate analyses. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet did not correlate with PROMIS Upper-Extremity Physical Function or pain intensity in bivariate analysis. In multivariable analyses factors associated with higher PROMIS Upper-Extremity Physical Function were male sex, non-traumatic diagnosis and PROMIS Pain Interference, with the latter accounting for most of the observed variability (37%). Factors associated with greater pain intensity in multivariable analyses included fewer years of education and higher PROMIS Pain Interference. Conclusions: General physical activity and diet do not seem to be as strongly or directly associated with upper-extremity physical function as pain interference.