Short‐Term Variability of Measures of Physical Function in Older People

Laurel A. Smith, Laurence G. Branch, Paul A. Scherr, Terrie Wetle, Denis A. Evans, Liesi Hebert, James O. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Self reported physical function was assessed in telephone interviews approximately 3 weeks apart for a sample of 193 persons aged 69 or older. Three measures of physical function were used: a modified Activities of Daily Living scale, three items proposed by Rosow and Breslau, and five items from among those used by Nagi. Agreement between first and second interviews was very good; most subjects reported no impairment in function at either interview. Among those who reported some impairment, the degree of limitation within the specific activities reported as limited and the total number of activities with any degree of limitation agreed exactly for most and within one level for almost all subjects. There was no evidence to suggest that age or cognitive impairment affected the variability of the responses, and reported declines and improvements in function were about equally common. 1990 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)993-998
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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