Most geriatric assessment instruments have been developed in the English language. Translated versions might differ in their psychometric properties. We analyzed the test-retest reliability and internal consistency of a German instrument for multidimensional geriatric assessment that was based on a newly developed English version. A group of 100 over 75-year-old community-dwelling persons (mean age 83.0 years, 81% women) in Hamburg (n = 26) and Ulm (n = 51), Germany, and Berne (n = 23), Switzerland was interviewed twice by the same trained interviewers with a one week interval. We administered questions on general health, chronic disorders, basic and instrumental activities of daily living, urinary incontinence, nutrition, falls, pain, the social support/network and preventive care measures. In addition, the Functional Status Questionnaire, the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly, the Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Index, the Visual Function Questionnaire, the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly and the Geriatric Depression Scale were administered. Cohen's kappa was good to excellent (0.64 < or = kappa < or = 0.89) with only three exceptions (pain questions, kappa = 0.53; questions on preventive care services, kappa = 0.51; and one of the questions on recent falls, kappa = 0.44). Cronbach alpha (internal consistency) was good to excellent for all domains (0.76 < or = alpha < or = 0.95). The study results confirm good test-retest reliability of the German version of this multidimensional geriatric assessment instrument. Adapted versions of this instrument can be used for different purposes, e.g., preventive home visits, outpatient geriatric assessments or epidemiological studies in older persons.