Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Henry C. Wessman


Disability Evaluation


Due to accountability, cost/benefit, and third party payers, it was necessary to develop an objective measurement of functional abilities of rehab patients. In Part I of the research, "Development of a Functional Classification System for a Rehabilitation Unit at St. Alexius Medical Center," a Functional Classification System (FCS) was developed and edited; however, the validity and reliability of the new FCS had to be justified.

Forty-seven patients admitted onto the St. Alexius Rehabilitation Unit between November 1992 and January 1993 were evaluated using version three of the FCS and objectively scored. Validity was tested between admit, discharge, and goal scores with a Pearson Correlation Coefficient of 0.8224 (moderately high) between admit and goal scores. The FCS scores were in a hierarchy fashion which is proper progression of a scoring instrument measuring progress. Content validity was found by use of a scale of one to five with one being agree and five disagree. The professionals agreed that the FCS did a good job of objectively measuring patient's status.

Inter-rater reliability was found by randomly selecting eleven of the forty seven patients and then comparing three parameter scores: Grooming, Eating, and Transfers. The scores were scored between inter-disciplinary personnel each week. It was found that there was 11.5% agreement and 88.5% disagreement in the Grooming category; Eating, 46.2% agreement and 53.8% disagreement (but a high correlation coefficient); and Transfers, 46.4% agreement and 53.6% disagreement. The high difference in scores may be due to incomplete scores and inter-disciplinary scoring instead of intradisciplinary scoring. Further research requires a larger population and additional intra-disciplinary rating.