Utility of the functional assessment measure after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation

Joseph A. Gurka, Kim L. Felmingham, Ian J. Baguley*, David E. Schotte, Jenelle Crooks, Jeno E. Marosszeky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To assess the relationship between the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and the Functional Assessment Measure (FAM), and community integration and return to work in patients with severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Design: A cross-sectional, prospective design was used to collect data at 6 and 24 months postdischarge. The Return to Work Scale (RTW) and Community Integration Questionnaire (CIQ) were selected to assess return to work and community functioning. Predictor variables included the motor and cognitive subscales of the FIM and the FAM. Setting: Follow-up database of an inpatient and community TBl Rehabilitation Unit. Participants: All consenting patients with TBI admitted to the unit, aged 16 or above. There were 88 patients at 6 and 79 patients at 24 month follow-up. Results: At 6 months follow-up, the FAM and the FIM were roughly equivalent in their ability to predict RTW and CIQ scores. At 24 months, FAM motor was the only significant predictor of CIQ, and FAM cognitive scores displayed an advantage over the FIM in predicting employment status. Conclusions: The FAM subscales produced only modest gains in prediction of employment status and community integration at 24 months postdischarge. This may reflect ceiling effects on the functional measures, a limited range on the RTW measure, poor ecologic validity of functional disability measures in assessing handicap, or a combination of these factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-256
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes


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