The Association Between Physical Function and Hyperkyphosis in Older Females: Protocol for a Systematic Review

Marziyeh Mehrabi, Tayebeh Roghani, Diane D. Allen, Zahra S. Rezaeian, Wendy B. Katzman


Identifying factors that impact physical function in older populations is important for the maintenance of good health with aging. Age‑related hyperkyphosis, an excessive curvature in the thoracic spine, affects up to 40% of the older adults and is more common in older females than males. An association of age‑related hyperkyphosis with impaired physical function has been reported in numerous studies, however, other studies have reported that a greater magnitude of kyphosis did not associate with impaired physical function. Given the inconsistencies regarding the impact of hyperkyphosis on physical function, the purpose of our study is to perform a systematic review of the existing studies in order to better describe the association between hyperkyphosis and physical function. Prospective and retrospective cohort, case‑control, and cross‑sectional studies which measure physical function by valid functional tests and questionnaires in older females will be included. We will search Scopus, ISI Web of Science, Cochrane Library, PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) and PEDro databases. Studies will be searched and then selected by two independent reviewers based on quality assessment tools from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). A meta‑analysis will be conducted if data reported for individual studies allow. Specifically, if two or more individual studies provide measures of central tendency and variability from any of the categories of physical function measures, data will be gathered for meta‑analysis. If a meta‑analysis is not possible, data will be synthesized and described in a narrative form by size and variability of effect, direction of effect, and association with hyperkyphosis


Aged; female; kyphosis; physical functional performance

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