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Biobehavioral measures as outcomes: a cautionary tale. Res Gerontol Nurs 2014 Mar-Apr;7(2):56-65 PMID: 24158972 PMCID: PMC3965632

Pubmed ID



This article discusses the use of biobehavioral measures as outcomes for health care intervention studies. Effect size (ES) values for salivary cortisol and observation-based measures of pain and agitation were examined. Effects pre to post treatment were assessed separately for nursing home residents with and without acute psychotic symptoms. This study revealed large positive effects on both pain and agitation measures in the group with acute psychotic symptoms and small-to-medium positive effects on these same measures in the group without acute psychotic symptoms. In both of these groups, the ES values were not consistently positive on the cortisol measures. Prior to determining whether a measure can be used to estimate minimum clinically important differences, it is essential to consider if the biomarker will be responsive to therapy in the populations and contexts being studied.

Author List

Kovach CR, Woods DL, Devine EC, Logan BR, Raff H


Brent R. Logan PhD Director, Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Hershel Raff PhD Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-84903787233   2 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Aged, 80 and over
Nursing Homes
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Pain Management
Pain Measurement
Psychomotor Agitation
jenkins-FCD Prod-300 626508253d14e4184314fb9f66322a03a5906796