Background: Activities of daily living (ADL) are often used as predictors of health and function in older persons. This systematic review is part of a series initiated by the European Network for Action on Ageing and Physical Activity (EUNAAPA). Aim: To assess psychometric properties of ADL instruments for use in older populations. Methods: Electronic databases (Medline, EMBASE, AMED, Psycinfo, CINAHL) were searched, using MeSH terms and relevant keywords. Studies, published in English, were included if they evaluated one or more psychometric properties of ADL instruments in community-dwelling older persons aged 60 years and older. Combination scales with IADL were excluded. This systematic review adhered to a pre-specified protocol regarding reliability, validity, and responsiveness. Results: In total, 140 articles describing more than 50 different ADL instruments were included. Ten instruments which were applied in minimally three different articles of good quality (clear descriptions and adequate design according to the protocol), were evaluated for reliability, validity and responsiveness; each received a summary score. The four instruments with the highest scores were the Functional Autonomy Measurement System (SMAF), 5-items Katz list (although content and wording are often inconsistent across studies), Functional Independence and Difficulty Scale (FIDS) and the Barthel Index. Discussion: Critical reflection is essential to avoid unnecessary modifications and use of instruments that have not been documented to be valid or reliable. Conclusion: Based on this systematic review, we recommend the SMAF, 5-item Katz, FIDS and Barthel index as ADL measures for research and care practice in older populations.

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Aging Clinical and Experimental Research
Department of Public Health

Hopman-Rock, M., van Hirtum, H. (Helmi), de Vreede, P., & Freiberger, E. (2018). Activities of daily living in older community-dwelling persons: a systematic review of psychometric properties of instruments. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research. doi:10.1007/s40520-018-1034-6