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Barthel Activities of Daily Living Index

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The Barthel Index measures the ability of a person to perform basic self care skills. It is used in areas such as care of older adults and with people who have learning difficulties in order to assess the level of support they require.

Periodic testing also allows progress to be monitored

The scoring is based on 10 activities and the maximum score is 100 (a score of 100 indicates that the patient is totally independent).

The view so both the person and their caregivers are sought when assigning a score:

THe areas covered and the scoring criterai are as follows:

  • Area 1: Controlling bowels
- is continent (10 points) 
  - has occasional accidents (5 points) 
  - is incontinent (0 point)
  • Area 2: Controlling bladder (the week preceding the test)
- is continent (10 points) 
  - has occasional accidents (5 points) 
  - is incontinent (0 point)
  • Area 3: Personal hygiene
- can wash face and hands, clean teeth, shave, comb hair (5 points) 
  - needs assistance (0 point)
  • Area 4: Getting on and off toilet
- can fasten and unfasten clothes, prevent soiling of clothes and use toilet paper (10 points) 
  - needs some help, but can do something alone (5 points) 
  - is dependent (0 point)
  • Area 5: Feeding
- can feed himself/herself (10 points) 
  - needs some help cutting food etc. (5 points) 
  - is dependent (0 point)
  • Area 6: Mobility
- is able to move from wheelchair to bed and back (15 points) 
  - needs some minor help or needs to be supervised for safety (10 points) 
  - can come to a sitting position without the help but needs to be lifted out of bed (5 points) 
  - is completely dependent (0 point)
  • Area 7: Walking on level surfaces
- can walk without help (other than stick or frame) more than 50 yards  (15 points) 
  - needs help to walk (10 points) 
  - can propel a wheelchair in an independent manner, can sit (5 points) 
  - is immobile or cannot walk more than 50 yards (0 points)
  • Area 8: Dressing
- is able to put on, remove and fasten all clothing (10 points) 
  - needs help dressing(5 points) 
  - is dependent (0 point)
  • Area 9: Ascending and descending stairs
- is able to go up and down  stairs safely without help. (10 points) 
  - needs assistance or supervision (5 points) 
  - is unable to go up or down (0 point)
  • Area 10: Bathing
- can use a bath or shower, or take a sponge bath (5 points) 
  - needs assistance or supervision (0 point)

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