Cover: A Short Functional Survey Is Responsive to Changes in Functional Status in Vulnerable Older People

A Short Functional Survey Is Responsive to Changes in Functional Status in Vulnerable Older People

Published In: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, v. 56, no. 10, Oct. 2008, p. 1932-1936

Posted on 2008

by Lillian Min, Neil S. Wenger, David Reuben, Debra Saliba

OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether an abbreviated five-item functional status survey consisting of five activities of daily living (ADLs) reflects changes measured over time in a full 12-item functional status survey. DESIGN: Longitudinal evaluation with mean follow-up of 11 months. SETTING: Two managed-care organizations in the United States. PARTICIPANTS: Four hundred twenty community-dwelling older people at moderate to high risk of death and functional decline enrolled in the Assessing Care of Vulnerable Elders (ACOVE) observational study. MEASURES: Number of ADL abilities according to the short (range 0-5) and full functional status surveys (range 0-12); change in function as defined according to a 1-point change in short score and 1- to 2-point change in full survey scores. RESULTS: Changes in short functional status survey scores were highly correlated to changes in long survey scores (correlation coefficient=0.88). On average, a 1-point change in the short survey score was associated with a 1.4-point change on the long survey score (P<.001). The short survey correctly classified 93% of those who declined according to the long survey, adjusting for chance agreement (kappa=0.82) and was responsive to decline in function (sensitivity 82-94%, specificity 94-97%, and area under the receiver operating curve 0.91-0.93 for 1- to 2-point decreases in full survey ADL counts). CONCLUSION: The short functional status survey is an efficient way to detect changes in functional status in vulnerable older populations for clinical and research purposes

This report is part of the RAND 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.

RAND 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.