Barthel Index | Barthel Scale
The Barthel Scale/Index (BI) is an ordinal scale used to measure performance in activities of daily living (ADL). Ten variables describing ADL and mobility are scored, a higher number being a reflection of greater ability to function independently following hospital discharge.
The Barthel Index is a scale that measures disability or dependence in activities of daily living in stroke patients.
Guidelines for use of the Barthel Index:
- The index should be used as a record of what a patient does, not as a record of what a patient could do.
- The main aim is to establish degree of independence from any help, physical or verbal, however minor
and for whatever reason.
- The need for supervision renders the patient not independent.
- A patient’s performance should be established using the best available evidence. Asking the patient,
friends/relatives and nurses are the usual sources, but direct observation and common sense are also
important. However direct testing is not needed.
- Usually the patient’s performance over the preceding 24-48 hours is important, but occasionally longer
periods will be relevant.
- Middle categories imply that the patient supplies over 50 per cent of the effort.
- Use of aids to be independent is allowed.