Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) for Older Adults with Dementia- Free Product

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The Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) measures instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), such as preparing balanced meals and managing personal finances. Since functional changes are noted earlier in the dementia process with IADLs that require a higher cognitive ability compared to basic activities of daily living (ADLs) (Hall, 2011; Peres et al., 2008), this tool is useful to monitor these functional changes over time. The FAQ may be used to differentiate those with mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s disease. To further exemplify the importance and utilization of the FAQ, thousands of research participants across the United States are administered the FAQ annually as part of the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC) longitudinal research study taking place in 29 National Institute on Aging-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Centers (Weintraub et al., 2009).

TARGET POPULATION: Older adults with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment, as well as mild, moderate, and advanced dementia (Weintraub et al., 2009). The FAQ is appropriate for clinical settings, such as acute and primary care, rehabilitation, assisted living, and home settings, as well as for research.

VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY: In IWD the FAQ is a consistently accurate instrument with good sensitivity (85%) to identify an individual’s functional impairment. The FAQ demonstrates high reliability (exceeding 0.90). Tests
of validity have been performed on the FAQ establishing it as an instrument for the bedside and research because it can discriminate among different functional levels of individuals, predict neurological exam ratings and mental status scores such as the Folstein Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) and demonstrate sensitivity to change (Assis, 2014; Malek-Ahmadi, 2015; Pfeffer, 1982).

STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS: The FAQ is efficient to administer to older adults giving consistent results across different professionals and settings including primary care settings, as well as with different forms of dementia (Mayo, 2013; Tabert et al., 2002). As with other instruments that measure functional activities using indirect approaches, there may be over or under estimation of abilities because of the lack of direct observations.  

From The Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, New York University, College of Nursing, and the Alzheimer’s Association