Constant hierarchic patterns of physical functioning across seven populations in five countries

Luigi Ferrucci, Jack M. Guralnik, Francesca Cecchi, Niccolo' Marchionni, Bernardo Salani, Judith Kasper, Romano Celli, Sante Giardini, Eino Heikkinen, Marja Jylhä, Alberto Baroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research was aimed at identifying critical steps in the decline in physical function that often parallels aging. Six basic and nine instrumental activities of daily living (ADLs) were classified into four domains of disability characterized by specific underlying physical impairment. The hierarchical order of this classification was verified in two random samples representative of the older home-dwelling population. The concordance level of disability and results of performance-based measures of physical function were also tested. Finally, the cross-cultural reliability of the model was verified in seven population-based samples of older persons living in five European countries. In older persons the disabling process follows a general pattern of progression based on a typical sequence of impairments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-294
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998


  • Aging
  • Disability
  • Disablement process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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