Health and Functional Capacity - Capturing Capability Limitations in Measures of Health

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Journal Article

Abstract

This paper explores which measures of health accurately reflect the functional capabilities of individuals -- that is, in what measures of health do those classified as having poorer health actually have poorer functional outcomes. Using the 2003 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, cross-tabulations, chi-squared analysis, and logistic regression models were used to identify the relationship between functional outcomes (core activity limitations and employment and education participation) and various measures of health and disability (composite disability measure, health utility scores and general health assessment). Both the composite disability measure and the health utility score accurately capture individual functional capacity -- with both measures being related to employment participation, employment and education restrictions, and core activity imitations. The health utility scores can also be divided into a categorical measure and still reflect this functional capacity. The general health assessment measure is also related to functional capacity and can potentially be used in the place of both the composite disability measure and the health utility score.

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