The Functional Status Questionnaire

Reliability and Validity When Used in Primary Care

Published in: Journal of General Internal Medicine, v. 1, no. 3, May/June 1986, p. 143-149

Posted on on January 01, 1986

by Alan M. Jette, Allyson Ross Davies, Paul Cleary, David Calkins, Lisa V. Rubenstein, Arlene Fink, Jacqueline Kosecoff, Roy Young, Robert H. Brook, Thomas L. Delbanco

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

A comprehensive functional assessment requires thorough and careful inquiry, which is difficult to accomplish in most busy clinical practices. This paper examines the reliability and validity of the Functional Status Questionnaire (FSQ), a brief, standardized, self-administered questionnaire designed to provide a comprehensive and feasible assessment of physical, psychological, social and role function in ambulatory patients. The FSQ can be completed and computer-scored in minutes to produce a one-page report which includes six summated-rating scale scores and six single-item scores. The clinician can use this report both to screen for and to monitor patients' functional status. In this study, the FSQ was administered to 497 regular users of Boston's Beth Israel Hospital's Healthcare Associates and 656 regular users of 76 internal medicine practices in Los Angeles. The data demonstrate that the FSQ produces reliable sub-scales with construct validity. The authors believe the FSQ addresses many of the problems behind the slow diffusion into primary care of systematic functional assessment.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.