Despite the importance of functional status to older persons and their families, little is known about the course of disability at the end of life.
We conducted a study to identify clinically distinct trajectories of disability in the last year of life and to determine whether and how the distribution of these trajectories differs according to the condition leading to death. We postulated that for each condition there would be considerable heterogeneity in the disability trajectories at the end of life. To accomplish our objectives, we used data from a longitudinal study that included monthly assessments of disability for more than 10 years in a large cohort of older persons.
Read the full article: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0909087#t=article