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Clin Rehabil. 2006 Feb;20(2):153-9.

Use of the Barthel Index and the Functional Independence Measure during early inpatient rehabilitation after single incident brain injury.

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  • 1Regional Neurological Rehabilitation Unit, Homerton Hospital, London, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the appropriateness and responsiveness of the Barthel Index and the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) during early inpatient rehabilitation after single incident brain injury.

DESIGN:

Cohort study.

SETTING:

A regional neurological rehabilitation unit.

PATIENTS:

Two hundred and fifty-nine consecutive patients undergoing inpatient comprehensive neurological rehabilitation following a vascular brain injury due to single cerebral infarction (n = 75), spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (n = 34) and subarachnoid haemorrhage (n = 43), and 107 patients who had sustained traumatic brain injury.

MEASUREMENTS:

Admission and discharge FIM total, physical and cognitive scores and the Barthel Index were recorded. Appropriateness and responsiveness in the study samples were determined by examining score distributions and floor and ceiling effects, and by an effect size calculation respectively. Non-parametric statistical analysis was used to calculate the significance of the change in scores.

RESULTS:

In all patient groups there was a significant improvement (Wilcoxon's rank sum, P<0.0001) in the Barthel Index (mean change score: vascular 3.9, traumatic 3.95) and FIM (mean change score: vascular 17.3, traumatic 17.4) scores during rehabilitation, and similar effect sizes were found for the Barthel Index (effect size: vascular 0.65, traumatic 0.55) and FIM total (effect size: vascular 0.59, traumatic 0.48) and physical scores in all patient groups. In each patient group the cognitive component of the FIM had the smallest effect size (0.35-0.43).

CONCLUSIONS:

All measures were appropriate for younger (less than 65 years of age) patients undergoing early inpatient rehabilitation after single incident vascular or traumatic brain injury. The Barthel Index and the total and physical FIM scores showed similar responsiveness, whilst the cognitive FIM score was least responsive. These findings suggest that none of the FIM scores have any advantage over the Barthel Index in evaluating change in these circumstances.

PMID:
16541936
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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