Psychometric properties of the Late-Life Function and Disability Instrument: a systematic review
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BACKGROUND: The choice of measure for use as a primary outcome in geriatric research is contingent upon the construct of interest and evidence for its psychometric properties. The Late-Life Function and Disability Instrument (LLFDI) has been widely used to assess functional limitations and disability in studies with older adults. The primary aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the current available evidence for the psychometric properties of the LLFDI. METHODS: Published studies of any design reporting results based on administration of the original version of the LLFDI in community-dwelling older adults were identified after searches of 9 electronic databases. Data related to construct validity (convergent/divergent and known-groups validity), test-retest reliability and sensitivity to change were extracted. Effect sizes were calculated for within-group changes and summarized graphically. RESULTS: Seventy-one studies including 17,301 older adults met inclusion criteria. Data supporting the convergent/divergent and known-groups validity for both the Function and Disability components were extracted from 30 and 18 studies, respectively. High test-retest reliability was found for the Function component, while results for the Disability component were more variable. Sensitivity to change of the LLFDI was confirmed based on findings from 25 studies. The basic lower extremity subscale and overall summary score of the Function component and limitation dimension of the Disability component were associated with the strongest relative effect sizes. CONCLUSIONS: There is extensive evidence to support the construct validity and sensitivity to change of the LLFDI among various clinical populations of community-dwelling older adults. Further work is needed on predictive validity and values for clinically important change. Findings from this review can be used to guide the selection of the most appropriate LLFDI subscale for use an outcome measure in geriatric research and practice.
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