A simplified index of physical health for use in epidemiological studies

J. H. Abramson, Michal Ritter, J. Gofin, J. D. Kark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A battery of simple questions designed to measure physical health, in terms of ability to perform physical activities, was appraised in 1839 men and women aged ≥ 50 years in a community survey in Jerusalem. The number of "Yes" answers to six questions, five of which could be skipped if the first one was answered positively, was found to be a satisfactory index, with a high degree of consistency-reliability in the total sample (Cronbach's alpha coefficient = 0.97) and in subgroups categorized by sex, age, education, or father's region of birth. The index constituted an excellent Guttman scale (coefficient of reproducibility = 0.96, coefficient of scalability = 0.94), indicating that the score serves both as a measure of physical health and as an indication of the profile of capabilities. Associations with age and other variables conformed with expectations, attesting the construct validity of the index.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-658
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1992


  • Epidemiological methods
  • Functional capacity
  • Health indices
  • Physical health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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