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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 1995 Nov-Dec;74(6):432-8.

ADL structure for stroke patients in Japan based on the functional independence measure.

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  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


The difficulty patterns of FIM (Functional Independence Measure) in Japan were determined and compared with patterns found in the United States to assess whether FIM can be used for worldwide comparisons of ADL (the activities of daily living). The FIM was measured for 190 stroke patients in several hospitals throughout Japan. The scores at admission and discharge were converted to an interval scale by Rasch analysis. Right and left brain lesion patients were analyzed separately. The FIM items were divided into two groups: motor items and cognitive items to minimize misfit. A degree of misfit was acceptable, except for bowel and bladder management, stairs, bathing, and expression. Motor items, eating, and bowel and bladder management were the easiest; stairs, bathing, and tub/shower transfers were the most difficult. The difficulty patterns of patients with left and right hemisphere lesions were almost identical. Bathing and tub/shower transfer were more difficult for Japanese patients than for those studied in the United States. Concerning the cognitive items, expression was easiest for patients with right hemisphere lesions but most difficult for those with left hemisphere lesions. Social interaction was easier for Japanese patients with left hemisphere lesions than the other patients. The item difficulty patterns in Japan differs slightly from those in the United States because of cultural differences. As countries show different patterns of difficulty, we must be careful when making international comparisons of FIM data converted by Rasch analysis.

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