Assessment of Physical Functioning: A Conceptual Model Encompassing Environmental Factors and Individual Compensation Strategies
Kristin M. Tomey and MaryFran R. Sowers
Vol. 89, No. 7, July 2009, pp. 705-714
K.M. Tomey, PhD, is Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 109 Observatory St, Room 1867, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029 (USA).
M.R. Sowers, PhD, is John G. Searle Professor of Public Health and Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan.
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Commonly studied physical functions include activities such as walking and climbing stairs. Despite the acknowledged role of environmental factors and behavioral strategies to compensate for reduced performance capacity or environmental barriers in characterizing physical functioning, most assessments do not take these factors into account. This article presents a new conceptual model for assessment of relevant physical functioning while accounting for habitual environmental factors and compensation strategies.
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