Outcome of comprehensive medical rehabilitation: measurement by PULSES profile and the Barthel Index

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1979 Apr;60(4):145-54.


In view of current emphasis on evaluation of benefits derived from rehabilitation programs, it is important that there be easily replicated measures for demonstrating the efficiency and effectiveness of services provided, as well as for transmitting information on patient functional status when transferring service responsibilities from one agency or facility to another. The authors used the PULSES profile and the Barthel index to measure severity of disability and to monitor rehabilitation progress in a heterogeneous sample of 307 severely disabled persons in 10 comprehensive medical rehabilitation centers, geographically selected. Gains in functional independence were registered for up to 2 years after admission. Cutting points of PULSES score totals or Barthel score totals distinguished the degree of severity of disability. The 2 scoring modalities appear valid, reliable, and sensitive for describing functional abilities and change over a period of time. They can be applied both to medical records and direct observations, and staff of medical facilities can readily be trained in their use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amputees
  • Brain Diseases / rehabilitation
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Leg / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases / rehabilitation
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Rehabilitation*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / rehabilitation