Functional Assessment Scales in a General Intensive Care Unit

  • Anna Christakou
  • Emmanouil Papadopoulos Evagelismos Hospital, Athens
  • Eirini Patsaki Evagelismos Hospital, Athens
  • Giorgos Sidiras Evagelismos Hospital, Athens
  • Serafeim Nanas Athens University School of Medicine, Athens
Keywords: functional ability, disability, impairment, scales, functional assessment, intensive care unit


The aims of this study were to describe the functional assessment scales for intensive care unit patients, to examine the psychometric evidence for reliability and validity and to summarize the strengths and the weaknesses of them. Several instruments have been used so far for the assessment of functional ability, impairment and/or disability in ICU patients, but all of them have specific limitations. These measurement tools include: Barthel Index, Functional Independence Measure, Functional Status Score for the ICU, Physical Function ICU Test Modified Rankin Scale, Karnofsky Scale Index, 4P questionnaire, Glasgow Outcome Scale, and Disability Rating Scale. The choice of the most appropriate assessment tool will depend on the specific patient population, its diagnosis and rehabilitation phase and the psychological properties of the available measurement. Future studies should examine additional types of reliability and validity with more sophisticated statistical analyses and to assess whether the tool is used for research and/or for clinical purposes.