The Global Activity Limitation Index measured function and disability similarly across European countries

J Clin Epidemiol. 2010 Aug;63(8):892-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2009.11.002. Epub 2010 Feb 20.


Objective: This work aims to validate and increase understanding of the Global Activity Limitation Index (GALI), an activity limitation measure from which the new structural indicator Healthy Life Years is generated.

Study design and setting: Data from the Survey of Health and Retirement in Europe, covering 11 European countries and 27,340 individuals older than 50 years, was used to investigate how the GALI was associated with other existing measures of function and disability and whether the GALI was consistent or reflected different levels of health in different countries.

Results: The GALI was significantly associated with the two subjective measures of activities of daily living score and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) score, and the two objective measures of maximum grip strength and walking speed (P<0.001 in all cases). The GALI did not differ significantly between countries in terms of how it reflected three of the health measures, with the exception being IADL.

Conclusion: The GALI appears to satisfactorily reflect levels of function and disability as assessed by long-standing objective and subjective measures, both across Europe and in a similar way between countries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Surveys and Questionnaires