Instruments to Assess Functional Status

  • Rosalie A. Kane

Abstract

The essence of good geriatrics practice is the expert management of the medical, psychological, and social needs of elderly patients and, when applicable, their family caregivers. To accomplish this goal, the members of a multidisciplinary geriatrics team, when such a configuration exists, must translate their knowledge about a patient’s functional abilities and limitations, psychological state, social support, and personal preferences into recommendations that will often have far-reaching effects on both the patient’s and family members’ lifestyle. In the more usual case of a primary care physician working without a team, that physician nonetheless must become involved in collecting, synthesizing, interpreting, and weighting a formidable amount of patient information, if only to determine whether referrals for more detailed assessments are needed. Much of this information differs, in kind, from the laboratory values, physical signs and symptoms, radiology results, and other data that are combined to reach a medical diagnosis. In 1987 a Consensus Panel convened by the National Institute on Aging agreed that functional assessment, i.e., assessment of the patient’s “ability to function in the arena of everyday living,” is integral to medical decision making.1,2

Keywords

Nursing Home Geriatric Assessment Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire Philadelphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

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  • Rosalie A. Kane

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