Discriminative validity of the Core outcome set functional independence in a population of older adults

Authors Yvonne Dockx , Esther Molenaar , Di-Janne Barten , Cindy Veenhof
Publication date 26 August 2020
Research groups Innovation of Movement Care
Type Article


Background: Clinicians are currently challenged to support older adults to maintain a certain level of Functional Independence (FI). FI is defined as "functioning physically safely and independent from another person, within one's own context". A Core Outcome Set was developed to measure FI. The purpose of this study was to assess discriminative validity of the Core Outcome Set FI (COSFI) in a population of Dutch older adults (≥ 65 years) with different levels of FI. Secondary objective was to assess to what extent the underlying domains 'coping', 'empowerment' and 'health literacy' contribute to the COSFI in addition to the domain 'physical capacity'. Methods: A population of 200 community-dwelling older adults and older adults living in residential care facilities were evaluated by the COSFI. The COSFI contains measurements on the four domains of FI: physical capacity, coping, empowerment and health literacy. In line with the COSMIN Study Design checklist for Patient-reported outcome measurement instruments, predefined hypotheses regarding prediction accuracy and differences between three subgroups of FI were tested. Testing included ordinal logistic regression analysis, with main outcome prediction accuracy of the COSFI on a proxy indicator for FI. Results: Overall, the prediction accuracy of the COSFI was 68%. For older adults living at home and depending on help in (i)ADL, prediction accuracy was 58%. 60% of the preset hypotheses were confirmed. Only physical capacity measured with Short Physical Performance Battery was significantly associated with group membership. Adding health literacy with coping or empowerment to a model with physical capacity improved the model significantly (p < 0.01). Conclusions: The current composition of the COSFI, did not yet meet the COSMIN criteria for discriminative validity. However, with some adjustments, the COSFI potentially becomes a valuable instrument for clinical practice. Context-related factors, like the presence of a spouse, also may be a determining factor in this population. It is recommended to include context-related factors in further research on determining FI in subgroups of older people.


Language English
Key words core outcome set, elderly, functional independence, validity
Digital Object Identifier https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-020-01705-6

Innovation of Movement Care