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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2010 March;46(1):73-80


lingua: Inglese

Functional living skills assessment: a standardized measure of high-order activities of daily living in patients with dementia

Farina E. 1, Fioravanti R. 1, Pignatti R. 2, Alberoni M. 1, Mantovani F. 1, Manzoni G. 2, Chiavari L. 1, Imbornone E. 1, Villanelli F. 1, Nemni R. 1

1 Neurorehabilitation Unit, IRCCS Don Gnocchi Foundation, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 2 Unit of Psychology, Istituto Auxologico di Piancavallo, Piancavallo (VB), Italy


AIM: Performance measures are tools aimed to directly evaluate social function in older adults. The authors present the standardization of a new direct performance measure for patients with dementia, the functional living skills assessment (FLSA).
METHODS: FLSA was conceived to detect functional impairment in very mild to moderate patients and to pick up functional modification due to intervention. The patient is asked to perform an activity, and the performance is scored according to completeness and level of assistance required. Eight areas of interest are evaluated (Resources, Consumer Skills, Public Transportation, Time Management, Money management, Leisure, Telephone Skills, Self-Care and Health). Subjects included 54 patients with dementia and 36 normal controls.
RESULTS: Total and partial FLSA scores significantly differed for the two groups (P<0.0001). Performance on FLSA could divide clinical dementia rating (CDR) 0 from CDR 1, CDR 2 e CDR 3 groups. Both sensitivity and specificity were 94%; inter-rater and test-retest reliability was good (P>0.9). Correction scores for education were calculated, while age influence was only marginally significant. Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and CDR highly influenced FLSA score (P< 0.0001); FLSA was highly correlated with another performance measure (the Direct Assessment of Functional Status; P=0.821), and with the Instrumental Activity of Daily Living (IADL) scale (P=-0.612), while no significant correlation was present with the Geriatric Depression Scale.
CONCLUSION: FLSA evidences construct, concurrent and discriminative validity. We suggest that this tool could be possibly useful when a high sensibility to different levels of functional impairment is needed, as evaluation of treatment efficacy (both non-pharmacological and pharmacological) identification of relatively intact functional areas to plan cognitive rehabilitation, and confirmation of dementia in the initial phase when there are doubts about functional decline.

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