Cover: A Study of the Reliability, Validity, and Precision of Scales to Measure Chronic Functional Limitations Due to Poor Health

A Study of the Reliability, Validity, and Precision of Scales to Measure Chronic Functional Limitations Due to Poor Health

Published 1977

by Anita Stewart, John E. Ware, Robert H. Brook


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback40 pages $23.00

Results of psychometric studies of 14 questionnaire items used to define limitations due to poor health are reported. Self-administered questionnaires gathered data from 1,209 persons. Data were used to study scalability of items, test-retest reliability of alternate forms of scales, validity of scales in relation to 13 health status variables and age, and precision of scales in detecting differences in functional limitations. Three scales pertaining to chronic limitations in mobility, physical activity, and social role activity functions satisfied the criteria of scalogram analysis. Four-month test-retest reliability estimates for alternative forms were very high. Strong associations (some curvilinear) were observed among functional limitations scales, and between these scales and survey measures of physical abilities, general health perceptions, health worry/concern, chronic disease conditions, and age. Measures of physical abilities and functional limitations appeared to define opposite ends of a function-dysfunction continuum.

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

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.