A2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review
Exploring the Conceptual Framework and Measurement Model of Intrinsic Capacity Defined by the World Health Organization : A Scoping Review (2022)

Koivunen, K., Schaap, L.A., Hoogendijk, E.O., Schoonmade, L.J., Huisman, M., & van Schoor, N.M. (2022). Exploring the Conceptual Framework and Measurement Model of Intrinsic Capacity Defined by the World Health Organization : A Scoping Review. Ageing Research Reviews, 80, Article 101685. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2022.101685

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Publication details

All authors or editorsKoivunen, Kaisa; Schaap, L.A.; Hoogendijk, E.O.; Schoonmade, L.J.; Huisman, M.; van Schoor, N.M.

Journal or seriesAgeing Research Reviews



Publication year2022


Article number101685

PublisherElsevier BV

Publication countryNetherlands

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/82615


WHO has defined intrinsic capacity (IC) as the composite of all physical and mental capacities of an individual covering five subdomains: cognition, locomotion, sensory, vitality, and psychological. Despite this well accepted definition, the conceptual and measurement model of IC remains unclear, which hampers a standardized operationalization of the construct.

We performed a scoping review to give a comprehensive overview of the extent to which the current literature of IC addresses and assumes the conceptual framework and measurement model of IC as reflective or formative. For inclusion, we considered all types of articles that were published in peer-reviewed journals except for protocol articles. A systematic search of 6 databases from different disciplines led to the inclusion of 31 papers.

We found inconsistency and gaps in the descriptions of IC. Most of the papers did not define the measurement model. In the conceptual background and validation articles, we identified descriptions of both reflective and formative measurement models while in empirical studies applying IC measurements the underlying assumptions remained mainly unclear.

Defining a measurement model is not merely a theoretical matter but influences the operationalization and validation processes of the construct. This study raised questions about the most fundamental features of the IC construct and discusses whether IC should be considered as an underlying latent trait of all capacities (reflective construct) or an aggregate summary measure of the subdomain capacities (formative construct).

Keywordsolder peopleageinghealthfunctional capacityphysical functioningmental functioningphysical activitycognitionmeasuring methodsmeasuring instruments (indicators)

Free keywordsolder adults; healthy aging; functional ability; WHO; measurement model

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-15-06 at 00:26