Practitioners rely on a variety of measures of a patient’s physical condition, including physiologic and clinician assessments. Occasionally, patient self-report data are collected. What insight into the physical health and functioning of patients does each of these types of information yield? This study suggests that each type of information provides a somewhat different insight into a patient’s physical condition and that a combination of physiologic, clinician, and patient self-assessments can provide a more thorough assessment of a patient’s condition. Using data from a clinical study of patients with heart failure, the Studies of Left Ventricular Dysfunction (SOLVD), measures of these three types of physical health assessments are compared as predictors of hospitalization. Results indicate that the self-report measures performed as well as or better than the physiologic or clinician assessments as predictors of hospitalization. The self-report measures have the added advantage of being inexpensive, noninvasive, and easily obtained over time, allowing for assessments of change. These findings suggest that, while related, each type of measure captures a different aspect of patient physical health and functioning.

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