BioPsychoSocial Assessment Tools for the Elderly - Assessment Summary Sheet

Test: Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ)

Year: 1982

Domain: Biological

Assessment Tool Category: Physical Function

Variations/Translations: In 1984, the questionnaire was expanded by adding four ADL items and an item on initiative.

Setting: This is a screening tool for assessing independence in daily activities designed for community studies of normal aging and mild senile dementia.

Method of Delivery: Can be self-administered but verified by a lay informant such as the spouse, a relative, or a close friend.

Description: The Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) has ten items concerned with performing daily tasks necessary for independent living. Either an informant or the participant them self provide performance ratings of the target person on ten complex higher-order activities.

Scoring/Interpretation: For each activity, four levels ranging from dependence (scored 0) to independence (scored 3) are specified. For activities not normally undertaken by the person, the informant must specify whether the person would be unable to undertake the task if required (scored 1) or could do so if required (0). The total score is the sum of individual item scores; higher scores reflect greater dependency. Sum scores range from 0-30. Cut point of 9 (dependent in 3 or more activities) is recommended to indicate impaired function and possible cognitive impairment.

Time to Administer: Not stated by author, but the questionnaire is lengthy and will be dependent upon the participant.

Availability: Can be accessed online.

Software: N/A


Quantitative/Qualitative: Quantitative

Validity (Quantitative): The validity coefficients obtained for the FAQ were consistently higher than those obtained for Lawton and Brody’s IADL scale. Used alone as a diagnostic tool, the Functional Activities Questionnaire was more sensitive than the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale (.85 vs. .57) and almost as specific (.81 vs. .92) in distinguishing between normal and demented individuals

Reliability (Quantitative): The item correlations for all items exceeded 0.08.


Burns, A.S., Lawlor, B.A., et al. (2004). Assessment Scales in Old Age Psychiatry. Informa Health Care: London, New York.

McDowell, I. (2006). Measuring Health: A Guide to Rating Scales and Questionnaires.
New York: Oxford University Press.

Pfeffer, R. I., Kurosaki, T. T., Harrah, C.H., et al. (1982).Measurement of Functional Activities in Older Adults in the Community .Journal of Gerontology, 37(3), 323-329.

Comments: Although the Functional Activities Questionnaire is reliable, it is not possible to differentiate between demented and non-demented patients.