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J Outcome Meas. 1998;2(1):4-24.

The dimensionality and validity of the Older Americans Resources and Services (OARS) Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Scale.

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School of Occupational Therapy, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


The psychometric properties of the OARS ADL scale, comprised of seven physical activities of daily living (PADL) and seven instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) items, were examined using a Rasch measurement approach. Two of the PADL items failed to demonstrate acceptable goodness-of-fit with the measurement model but the remaining 12 items could be combined into a single measure of ADL ability. Although the OARS ADL scale was designed to identify those community-dwelling elderly who need supports and services to continue to live in the community, the scale items were found to be poorly targeted to community-dwelling elderly since almost half of our sample received maximal scores. Rasch analysis identified how we might improve the sensitivity of the OARS ADL scale but its utility in outcome and longitudinal studies remains questionable.

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