Summary and recommendations: 1. A brief but systematic assessment of functional status should be incorporated into the routine medical management of elderly patients, because of its demonstrated usefulness. 2. Future research should emphasize the development of detailed clinical information about the natural history, differential diagnosis, and management of functional disability. 3. Undergraduate and postgraduate medical programs should teach diagnostic and patient management skills related to functional disability to all physicians. 4. Reimbursement mechanisms to pay for performance of functional status assessments should be developed--p. .
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