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Women Health. 2011 Jul 22;51(5):482-96. doi: 10.1080/03630242.2011.589493.

Late life function and disability instrument in African American women: function component.

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  • 1College of Nursing, University of Akron, Ohio, USA.


Obesity, age, and comorbidity can lead to limitations in physical function, especially in middle aged, community-dwelling, African American women. To determine the clinical implications of limitations in physical function, instruments that assess physical function need to be tested in this population. The purpose of the authors in this secondary analysis was to report the internal consistency and validity of the Physical Function component of the Late Life Function and Disability Instrument in middle-aged, community-dwelling, African American women. In 2006, 126 community-dwelling African American women completed the Physical Function component, the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly, and the 6 Minute Walk Test at baseline. Results indicated Cronbach's alphas were excellent (all >.92) for the Physical Function component and the three subscales. The Physical Function component correlated directly with the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (r = .37, p < .01) and the 6 Minute Walk Test (r = .36, p < .01) but was inversely correlated with age (r = -.42, p < .01) and comorbidity (r = -.35, p < .01). However, obesity was not correlated (r = -.11, p > .05). A three-factor structure of the Physical Function component was confirmed. Thus, the Physical Function component was a reliable and valid measure to screen African American women who were at risk for function limitations. Future recommendations are discussed.

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