Disease-Specific Functional Status Assessment

Part of the Frontiers of Primary Care book series (PRIMARY)


There are several compelling reasons to assess functional status of patients treated by family physicians. Of these reasons, the evaluation of therapeutic interventions as related to clinical outcome, is perhaps the most important. Outcome evaluations are generally made using objective measures, such as reduction in blood pressure, change in selected laboratory values (e.g., serum creatinine and calcium), and crude qualitative patient responses expressed as “less pain” or “feeling better.” Yet, even precise laboratory results give an incomplete picture of the clinical situation. A patient taking antihypertensive medication who has achieved normal blood pressure may be incapicitated from the medication’s side effects. Chemotherapy can disable the patient in whom there is radiological evidence of tumor regression. Clearly, the current assessment of outcomes of treatment in ambulatory patients is both incomplete and imprecise. Functional status assessment is required in addition to precisely defined clinical end points.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Pernicious Anemia Sickness Impact Profile Ambulatory Care Setting Nervous System Disorder 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1990

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