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Assessment Tools: Barthel Index

The assessment tool collection encompasses all assessments that are used in medical rehabilitation with a primary focus on physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Barthel Index

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Barthel Index

Author: Florence I. Mahoney and Dorothea W. Barthel 

Summary: The Barthel Index was developed to measure functional independence in personal care and mobility. It monitors performance in chronic patients before and after treatment and to indicate the amount of nursing care needed (Mahoney, 1958). It has been used with rehabilitation patients to predict length of stay, estimate prognosis, anticipate discharge outcomes, and as an evaluative instrument. (McDowell, 1998). 

Format: 10-item perfomance-based instrument consisting of two to four-point response scales that evaluates activities of daily living (Mahoney, 1965). Modified versions include a 10-item scale that re-ordered the orginal ten items, clarified the rating instructions and modified the scores for each item totalling 20 (Collin, 1988). Another instrument commonly called the Modified Barthel Index covers 15 items and uses four-point response scales for most items (Granger, 1981). Another adaptation proposed a five point response scale for each item to improve sensitivity in detecting change (Shah, 1989).

Library Record:  Call #: WB 300 M216b 1965 ATOOLS  (Reserve desk)

Population: Individuals with disabilities affecting activities of daily living.
Completion time  20 minutes if perfomance is observed or 5 minutes if information is obtained verbally from client.



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Use Policy

The Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library will provide assessment tools and outcome measures for loan to faculty, students and staff of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) with a valid University of Manitoba (U of M) Library ID. If you qualify to borrow a tool you will need to fill out and present this form to the NJMHSL Circulation staff.


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