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Comprehensive Functional Assessment for Elderly Patients

Health and Public Policy Committee*
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Requests for Reprints: Linda Johnson White, Director, Department of Scientific Policy, American College of Physicians, 4200 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

*This paper was authored by Thomas P. Almy, MD, MACP, and was developed for the Health and Public Policy Committee by the Subcommittee on Aging: Michael A. Nevins, MD, FACP, Chairman; John C. Beck, MD, MACP; William A. Godfrey, Jr., MD, FACP; David H. Law, MD; Joanne Lynn, MD. Members of the Health and Public Policy Committee were: Richard G. Farmer, MD, FACP, Chairman; John M. Eisenberg, MD, FACP; Donald L. Feinstein, MD, FACP; Paul F. Griner, MD, FACP; Joseph E. Johnson III, MD, FACP; Charles E. Lewis, MD, FACP; Malcolm L. Peterson, MD, FACP; C. S. Lewis, Jr., MD, MACP; Steven A. Schroeder, MD, FACP; Quentin D. Young, MD, FACP. This paper was approved by the Board of Regents on 15 January, 1988.

American College of Physicians

© 1988 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1988;109(1):70-72. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-109-1-70
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

The American College of Physicians believes that maintenance of patients' functional well-being is a fundamental goal of medical practice. Assessment of the impact of illness on physical, mental, and psychosocial functioning is an essential element of clinical diagnosis, a major determinant of therapeutic choices, a measure of their efficacy, and a guide in the planning of long-term care for the dependent elderly.

Although most elderly noninstitutionalized adults are functionally competent, the percentage who need help doing everyday activities doubles with each successive decade up to age 84, and triples between ages 85 and 94 (1). Although physicians may identify these




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