The stair climb power test as an efficacy outcome in randomized trials of function promoting therapies in older men

Thiago Gagliano-Jucá, Zhuoying Li, Karol M. Pencina, Tinna Traustadóttir, Thomas G. Travison, Linda Woodhouse, Shehzad Basaria, Panayiotis D. Tsitouras, S. Mitchell Harman, Shalender Bhasin, Thomas W. Storer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Standardization of performance-based physical function measures that are reliable and responsive to intervention is necessary for efficacy trials of function promoting anabolic therapies (FPTs). Herein, we describe a standardized method of measuring stair climbing power (SCP) and evaluate its ability to assess improvements in physical function in response to an FPT (testosterone) compared to gait speed. Methods: We used a 12-step SCP test with and without carrying a load (loaded, LSCP or unloaded, USCP) in two testosterone trials in older men. SCP was determined from mass, total step-rise, and time of ascent measured with an electronic timing system. Associations between SCP and leg press performance (strength and power), testosterone levels, and gait speed were assessed. Test-retest reliability was evaluated using interclass correlation and Bland-Altman analyses. Results: Baseline SCP was negatively associated with age and positively with leg strength and power and gait speed. Both tests of SCP were safe and showed excellent reliability (intra-class correlation 0.91-0.97 in both cohorts). Changes in testosterone concentrations were associated with changes in USCP and LSCP, but not gait speed in mobility-limited men. Changes in leg press performance were associated with SCP in both trials. Conclusions: Both USCP and LSCP are safe and have high test-retest reliability. Compared to gait speed, SCP is associated more robustly with leg press performance and is sensitive to testosterone therapy. The LSCP might be a more responsive outcome than gait speed to evaluate the efficacy of FPT in randomized trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1167-1175
Number of pages9
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • Anabolic intervention
  • Muscle power
  • Physical function
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'The stair climb power test as an efficacy outcome in randomized trials of function promoting therapies in older men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this