Use of a geriatric home visit experience to teach medical students the functional status assessment

Ericka E. Tung, Matthew R. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Functional status measures strongly predict hospital outcomes and mortality, yet teaching of these measures is often missing from medical schools' curricula. To address this deficiency, we developed a Geriatric Home-based Assessment (GHA) module for third-year medical students. The module was composed of a workshop and two to three home visits. To determine whether the GHA module would improve students' knowledge and proficiency in the functional status assessment. Students completed a validated questionnaire and evaluated a standardized patient in an Observed Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Scores from students completing the GHA were compared to the scores of students without this experience. Thirty-one students participated in the GHA module, and 19 students were in the control group. The mean score on the written assessment was 87% among GHA students vs. 46% in the control group (p∈<∈0. 001). The mean clinical examination score of the intervention group was also better than that of the control group (76% vs. 46%, p <∈0.001). Our GHA module was effective in improving students' knowledge and proficiency in the functional status assessment. "Hands on" experiences like the GHA allow students to develop a solid foundation for assessing functional status and mobility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-246
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009



  • Functional status
  • Geriatric assessment
  • Medical students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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