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J Clin Epidemiol. 2011 Mar;64(3):320-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2010.02.019. Epub 2010 Aug 16.

Weighted index explained more variance in physical function than an additively scored functional comorbidity scale.

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  • 1Providence VA Medical Center, Department of Community Health, Box G-S121(6), Brown University, Providence, RI 02908, USA.



1) examine association between the Functional Comorbidity Index (FCI) and discharge functional status (FS); 2) examine impact of FCI on FS when added to comprehensive models; and 3) compare additive FCI with weighted FCI and list of condition variables (list).


Patients were drawn from Focus On Therapeutic Outcomes, Inc. (FOTO) database (1/1/06-12/31/07). FS collected using computer adaptive tests. Linear regression examined association between FCI and FS. Three methods of including functional comorbidities (FC) were compared.


Relationship between FCI and FS varied by group (range, 0.02-0.9). Models with weighted index or list had similar R². Weighted FCI or list increased R² of crude models by <0.01 for cervical, shoulder, and lumbar; by 0.01 for wrist/hand, knee, and foot/ankle; by 0.02 for hip; by 0.03 for elbow; and by 0.08 for neurological. Addition of FCI to comprehensive models added <0.01 to R² (all groups). Weighted FCI increased R² by <0.01 for cervical, lumbar, and shoulder; by 0.01 for wrist/hand, hip, knee, and foot/ankle; by 0.02 for elbow; and by 0.04 for neurological; whereas list increased R² by <0.01 for cervical, shoulder, and lumbar; by 0.01 for knee and foot/ankle; by 0.02 for elbow, wrist/hand, and hip; and by 0.05 for neurological.


List of comorbidities or weighted FCI is preferable to using additive FCI.

Published by Elsevier Inc.

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