Purpose: In some hospitals, patients exhibit significant heterogeneity of function at admission and discharge. The current study aims to assess if concurrent usage of the Early Functional Assessment (EFA) and Functional Independence Measure (FIM) is warranted and practical in rehabilitation centers with diverse patient groups and outcomes.
Methods: This retrospective study examined a data set of all patients with concurrent EFA and FIM scores admitted to a single rehabilitation center (4076 scores from 1251 patients). The patients had acquired brain injury of multiple etiologies and a range of severities.
Results: The EFA scale was more able to characterize the function of lower functioning patients according to the FIM while the FIM scale was more able to characterize the function of higher functioning patients according to the EFA. This was highlighted by 21% of assessments with the lowest FIM score (18) having corresponding EFA scores of 22-76 and 27% of assessments with the highest EFA score (>90) having corresponding FIM scores of 38-126.
Conclusions: In rehabilitation centers with diverse patient groups and outcomes, the FIM and EFA scale could be used to characterize the heterogeneity of function in patients with acquired brain injury. The EFA/FIM scale could be used concurrently in certain patients providing a more complete view of patients throughout the rehabilitation process.
Keywords: Brain injury; EFA; FIM; disability; functional independence measure.