Modified Barthel Index (PDF – Online Reading – Download)

The Barthel Scale/Index (BI) is an ordinal scale used to measure performance in activities of daily living (ADL). Ten variables describing ADLs and mobility are scored, with a higher number reflecting a greater ability to function independently after hospital discharge. The time and physical assistance required to perform each item are used to determine the assigned value of each item. The Barthel Index measures the degree of assistance required by an individual in 10 ADL mobility and self-care items.

How To Use

Time to administer- Self-report: 2-5 minutes; Direct observation: 20 minutes, times may vary depending on the client’s tolerance and abilities. The MBI/BI is simple to administer. Requires training if administered by direct observation. It has been developed in many forms that can be administered in many situations and can be used for longitudinal evaluation.

The Barthel includes 10 personal activities: feeding, personal hygiene, bathing, dressing, and undressing, getting on and off the toilet, bladder control, bowel control, moving from wheelchair to bed and back, walking on a level surface ( or propelling a wheelchair if unable to walk) and go up and down stairs.

The original index is a three-item ordinal rating scale that is completed in 2 to 5 minutes by a therapist or other observer. Each item is scored in terms of whether the patient can perform the task independently, with some help, or relies on help based on observation (0 = unable, 1 = needs help, 2 = independent). The final score is x 5 to get a number in a score of 100 points. Proposed guidelines for interpreting Barthel scores are that scores of 0-20 indicate “full” dependence, 21-60 indicate “severe” dependence, 61-90 indicate “moderate” dependence and 91-99 indicate “slight” dependence. 2 Most studies apply the 60/61 cut-off point. Note: The Barthel index should not be used alone to predict outcomes.

Download the Modified Barthel Index


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *