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Using Functional Assessment and Screening Tools With Frail Older Adults

Farrell, Mary K. PT, MS, NCS, GCS


When examining older adults who are frail, assessment tools should be chosen that can give information regarding overall function, degree of frailty, risk for falls, and endurance. The Physical Performance Test, Berg Balance Scale, and 6-Minute Walk Test are reviewed for their ability to provide this type of information. In addition, the Mini-Mental State Exam, Geriatric Depression Scale, and Nutritional Screening Initiative are reviewed for their ability to identify if referral to another discipline is necessary.

From the School of Physical Therapy, Pacific University, Forest Grove, Ore, and the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, Provo, Utah.

Corresponding author: Mary K. Farrell, PT, MS, NCS, GCS, Pacific University, 2043 College Way, Forest Grove, OR 97124 (e-mail:

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.