Assessing the Validity of Self-Rated Health with the Short Physical Performance Battery: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the International Mobility in Aging Study

PLoS One. 2016 Apr 18;11(4):e0153855. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153855. eCollection 2016.


Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the validity of self-rated health across different populations of older adults, when compared to the Short Physical Performance Battery.

Design: Cross-sectional analysis of the International Mobility in Aging Study.

Setting: Five locations: Saint-Hyacinthe and Kingston (Canada), Tirana (Albania), Manizales (Colombia), and Natal (Brazil).

Participants: Older adults between 65 and 74 years old (n = 1,995).

Methods: The Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) was used to measure physical performance. Self-rated health was assessed with one single five-point question. Linear trends between SPPB scores and self-rated health were tested separately for men and women at each of the five international study sites. Poor physical performance (independent variable) (SPPB less than 8) was used in logistic regression models of self-rated health (dependent variable), adjusting for potential covariates. All analyses were stratified by gender and site of origin.

Results: A significant linear association was found between the mean scores of the Short Physical Performance Battery and ordinal categories of self-rated health across research sites and gender groups. After extensive control for objective physical and mental health indicators and socio-demographic variables, these graded associations became non-significant in some research sites.

Conclusion: These findings further confirm the validity of SRH as a measure of overall health status in older adults.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • International Agencies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobility Limitation*
  • Motor Activity
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires