Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MSc)


Health Research Methodology


Koon Teo


Lehana Thabane



Committee Member

Mary Law


Background The possibility of ageing independently during the past 2 decades assumed a meaning which comprises different aspects. It has been recognized, in studies involving older adults but also by important Health Organizations (such as WHO), that disability could originate from different causes: physical limitations, external causes (such as personal assistance or building barriers), individual causes (lifestyle, behavior, positive attitude) and societal factors. Measuring the level of disability in a comprehensive way could help predict the amount of help and the best resources needed for older adults to cope with disability and remain independent as much as possible. The SAGE scale has been developed to be a complete and easy to use tool to measure independence in older adults.

Objectives The aim of this thesis is to describe the methodology and the design of a study and to assess the validity and reliability of the SAGE scale.

Design SAGE validation will be measured in a cross sectional study, involving 240 older adults conveniently sampled from 3 different facilities in the Hamilton area. Community dwelling older adults, patients recovering from a stroke and subjects living in a nursing home, will be assessed at one point in time with the new tool (the SAGE scale) together with four widely used scales to assess cognitive abilities (Montreal Cognitive Assessment), functional abilities (The Franchay Activity Index), the modified-Rankin scale and the CSHA Clinical Frailty Scale. This thesis will describe the processes through which assess the content, construct and criterion validity. The hierarchical sequence of items will also be investigated as well as specificity and sensitivity of the new tool.

Conclusion The development of the SAGE was motivated by the recent need for an instrument able to capture all the activities that are important for the elderly to be able to age with dignity and independence. The results of this study, if positive, will be useful for further investigation of the SAGE, as a screening tool to recognize and detect early loss of independence in this group of individuals.

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