Physical Function Does Not Predict Care Assessment Need Score in Older Veterans

Monica C. Serra, Odessa Addison, Jamie Giffuni, Lydia Paden, Miriam C. Morey, Leslie Katzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: The Veterans Health Administration’s Care Assessment Need (CAN) score is a statistical model, aimed to predict high-risk patients. We were interested in determining if a relationship existed between physical function and CAN scores. Method: Seventy-four older (71 ± 1 years) male Veterans underwent assessment of CAN score and subjective (Short Form–36 [SF-36]) and objective (self-selected walking speed, four square step test, short physical performance battery) assessment of physical function. Results: Approximately 25% of participants self-reported limitations performing lower intensity activities, while 70% to 90% reported limitations with more strenuous activities. When compared with cut points indicative of functional limitations, 35% to 65% of participants had limitations for each of the objective measures. Any measure of subjective or objective physical function did not predict CAN score. Conclusion: These data indicate that the addition of a physical function assessment may complement the CAN score in the identification of high-risk patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-423
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • SPPB
  • Veteran
  • activities of daily living
  • aging
  • disability
  • gait speed
  • mobility function
  • subjective physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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