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Inter-rater reliability of the original and modified Barthel Index, and a comparison with the Functional Independence Measure
journal contributionposted on 28.05.2019, 00:00 by J Fricke, Carolyn UnsworthCarolyn Unsworth
The Barthel Index (BI), the Modified Barthel Index (MBI) and the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) are all widely used by occupational therapists as assessment tools for clinical decision-making and outcome measurement. All of these tools have demonstrated validity and the BI and the FIM have demonstrated inter-rater reliability. The MBI has been modified to increase sensitivity; however, there have been no publications on the inter-rater reliability of this tool following the changes. The purpose of this research was to examine the inter-rater reliability of two versions of the Barthel Index, and draw some comparisons between this assessment tool and the FIM. Twenty-five patients with neurological and orthopaedic conditions were assessed by three occupational therapists using the three tools. The method of analysis selected was percentage agreement and intraclass correlation coefficient. The results indicated that both the original and modified versions of the Barthel Index possess good inter-rater reliability. As all three tools have demonstrated adequate reliability and validity, it is suggested that clinicians select the most sensitive tool that best meets their clinical needs, and use this assessment tool in its standardized format.