Understanding the determinants of functional decline: Incorporating multiple domains
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Activities of daily living (ADL) measures are used to assess disability levels within the elderly population. ADLs are essential in assessing dementia, quality of life, and can reflect the level of economic burden required to maintain disabled individuals. When used as an outcome measure they can serve an index of individual differences in healthy aging. This study is concerned with defining the determinants ADLs or functional decline. The study assessed the relationship between the Townsend Disability Scale and four distinct domains. The study revealed that increases in 6 meter walk time (OR, 1.65), Age 79 IQ (OR, 1.26), and a decreases in HADS depression scale (OR, 2.48) significantly increased the odds of being in a lower grade of disability. The socioeconomic domain failed to reveal a significant relationship with our measure of disability. This study was also able to demonstrate that ADL items (specifically the Townsend Disability Scale) adhere to a hierarchical scale.