[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 16, 1983

Assessment of Health Status

Author Affiliations

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock

JAMA. 1983;250(23):3163-3164. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340230021017

To the Editor.—  We congratulate Dr Nelson and colleagues on their article, "Functional Health Status Level of Primary Care Patients,"1 and note their data about agreement and disagreement between physician and patient of assessment of functional health status. We report similar data that suggest an additional area where the level of agreement may be higher.We studied a large group of patients with somatization disorder who were cared for by primary care physicians. This psychiatric disorder is characterized by a large number of medical complaints without sufficient medical problems to account for these complaints.2 Each patient completed the entire health status scales developed by The Rand Corporation.3 Their physicians made global ratings of functional status in three areas by marking a line on a 10-cm bipolar scale with the ends of the scale representing extremes for each area. The three areas were physical health, mental health, and