1. What does The Late-Life FDI© assess?
The Late-Life FDI© is an evaluative outcome instrument
for community-dwelling older adults. It is designed to assess
and be responsive to meaningful change in two distinct outcomes:
function and disability. Functional limitations pertain to
limitations in a person's ability to do discrete actions or
activities. Disability refers to a person's performance of
socially defined life tasks expected of an individual within
a typical sociocultural and physical environment.
2. How was The Late-Life FDI© developed?
Using Nagi's disablement model, we developed questions that
assess difficulty in physical function and frequency and limitation
in performance of life tasks. We constructed the instrument
using factor analysis and Rasch analytic techniques and evaluated
its validity and test retest reliability with 150 ethnically
and racially diverse adults aged 60 years and older who had
a range of functional limitations. The resulting instrument
is composed of a sixteen-item disability component with two
dimensions, frequency of performance and limitation in performance
of life tasks and a 32-item function component with three
domains, upper extremity, basic lower extremity, and advanced
lower extremity functions. Both the disability and function
components had a high to moderate test-retest stability rate.
3. How is the The Late-Life FDI© administered?
Is it possible to use one component of the instrument without
the other (i.e. using just the function component), however
to capture a comprehensive representation of an older adult's
capabilities and performance levels in everyday life, we suggest
using both components. The Late-Life FDI© was originally
designed for an interview setting, where an interviewer administers
the questionnaire to the participant and gives the participant
visual aids (large print outs of response options) to guide
in selecting the appropriate response. Self-administration
of the instrument is also possible but this method has not
been tested and may be problematic for those who have poor
vision or writing difficulties.