Advances in the measurement of functional status: construction of aggregate indexes

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Activities of Daily Living; Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Female; *Health Status Indicators; *Health Surveys; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; *Physical Fitness; Questionnaires; United States


Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


This article summarizes tests of the appropriateness of aggregating specific categories of physical capacities and limitations into aggregate functional status indexes. Self-administered questionnaires were used to gather data from 4,603 people between 14 and 66 years of age. Cumulative indexes defining ranked levels of functional status were derived for two global constructs of functioning (personal and role functioning). Each index is scored to define chronic limitations and those of shorter duration. Personal functioning includes self-care, mobility and physical activity categories. Role functioning includes role and general activity categories. An index that aggregated personal and role limitations did not satisfy the assumptions of cumulative scaling.


Med Care. 1981 May;19(5):473-88. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Medical care

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed