3 years ago

Lack of knowledge and availability of diagnostic equipment could hinder the diagnosis of sarcopenia and its management

Andrea B. Maier, Carel G. M. Meskers, Esmee M. Reijnierse, Marijke C. Trappenburg, Marjan Doves, Marian A. E. de van der Schueren

Sarcopenia is an emerging clinical challenge in an ageing population and is associated with serious negative health outcomes. This study aimed to assess the current state of the art regarding the knowledge about the concept of sarcopenia and practice of the diagnostic strategy and management of sarcopenia in a cohort of Dutch healthcare professionals (physicians, physiotherapists, dietitians and others) attending a lecture cycle on sarcopenia.

Material and methods

This longitudinal study included Dutch healthcare professionals (n = 223) who were asked to complete a questionnaire before, directly after and five months after (n = 80) attending a lecture cycle on the pathophysiology of sarcopenia, diagnostic strategy and management of sarcopenia, i.e. interventions and collaboration.


Before attendance, 69.7% of healthcare professionals stated to know the concept of sarcopenia, 21.4% indicated to know how to diagnose sarcopenia and 82.6% had treated patients with suspected sarcopenia. 47.5% used their clinical view as diagnostic strategy. Handgrip strength was the most frequently used objective diagnostic measure (33.9%). Five months after attendance, reported use of diagnostic tests was increased, i.e. handgrip strength up to 67.4%, gait speed up to 72.1% and muscle mass up to 20.9%. Bottlenecks during implementation of the diagnostic strategy were experienced by 67.1%; lack of awareness among other healthcare professionals, acquisition of equipment and time constraints to perform the diagnostic measures were reported most often. Before attendance, 36.4% stated not to consult a physiotherapists or exercise therapists (PT/ET) or dietitian for sarcopenia interventions, 10.5% consulted a PT/ET, 32.7% a dietitian and 20.5% both a PT/ET and dietitian. Five months after attendance, these percentages were 28.3%, 21.7%, 30.0% and 20.0% respectively.


The concept of sarcopenia is familiar to most Dutch healthcare professionals but application in practice is hampered, mostly by lack of knowledge, availability of equipment, time constraints and lack of collaboration.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185837

You might also like
Never Miss Important Research

Researcher is an app designed by academics, for academics. Create a personalised feed in two minutes.
Choose from over 15,000 academics journals covering ten research areas then let Researcher deliver you papers tailored to your interests each day.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.