Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Disability Evaluation; Rehabilitation -- standards; Rehabilitation -- methods


Formalized functional assessment, in the form of data that is uniform and complete, is desirable for objective and explicit documentation of functional improvement. A variety of functional assessment instruments are currently being utilized in the field of medical rehabilitation. However, there is not professional clarity as to which functional assessment instrument is optimal.

The concept of functional assessment is described. An overview of existing functional assessment instruments is presented. Criteria for evaluating the adequacy of functional assessment instruments is discussed.

There is no one best approach to assessing physical function. No instrument is perfect for all patients or all situations. Physical therapy departments must carefully consider which functional assessment instrument is appropriate for their institution or specific patient population and then adopt that measure.