Relationships between impairment and physical disability as measured by the functional independence measure

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1993 Jun;74(6):566-73. doi: 10.1016/0003-9993(93)90153-2.


This study was conducted to scale the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) with Rasch Analysis and to determine the similarity of scaled measures across impairment groups. The results show that the FIM contains two fundamental subsets of items: one measures motor and the second measures cognitive function. Rasch analysis of the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation patient sample yielded interval measures of motor and cognitive functions. The validity of the FIM was supported by the patterns of item difficulties across impairment groups. Adequate clinical precision of the FIM was demonstrated, though suggestions for improvement emerged. The frequency of misfit between patients and the performance scales varied across impairment groups, but was acceptable. The results of this project will enable clinicians and researchers to plan cost-effective treatment by providing a valid measure of disability.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged