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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019 May 13. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15975. [Epub ahead of print]

Use of Functional Assessment to Define Therapeutic Goals and Treatment.

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Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, Maryland.
University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts.
University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.
Denver VA Medical Center, Veterans Affairs, Denver, Colorado.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brookline, Massachusetts.
Duke University School of Medicine and Durham VA Geriatrics Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Durham, North Carolina.


This article summarizes the presentations and discussions from a workshop, "Using Functional Assessment to Define Therapeutic Goals and Treatment," which took place on November 30 to December 1, 2017. This workshop brought together transdisciplinary leaders in the fields of function and disability and clinical investigators engaged in research on geriatric populations to outline opportunities and challenges for incorporating measures of function in clinical research. Topics addressed included reliable and clinically feasible measures of function and key domains of health (eg, musculoskeletal, cognitive, and sensory) that are most strongly associated with patients' perceptions of well-being, independence, and quality of life across a wide array of diseases and interventions. The workshop also focused on the importance of function in medical decision making to inform communications between specialty physicians and patients about prognosis and goals of care. Workshop participants called for more research on the role of function as a predictor of an intervention's effectiveness and an important treatment outcome. Such research would be facilitated by development of a core set of simple, short, functional measures that can be used by all specialties in the clinical setting to allow "big data" analytics and a pragmatic research.


frailty; functional assessment; functional impairment; functional status; resilience


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