COMBI >> Scales >> FIM(TM) >> Background


Mr. Jerry Wright
Director, Research Administration
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center

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Wright, J. (2000). The FIM(TM). The Center for Outcome Measurement in Brain Injury.
combi/FIM ( accessed ).*

*Note: This citation is for the COMBI web material. Mr. Wright is not the scale author for the FIM.






FIM(TM) Background

The FIM(TM) was developed to resolve the long-standing problem of lack of uniform measurement and data on disability and rehabilitation outcomes (Granger, 1998). The FIM(TM) emerged from a thorough developmental process, sponsored by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Granger et al., 1986). A National Task force reviewed 36 published and unpublished functional assessment scales before agreeing on an instrument (Hamilton et al., 1987).

FIM(TM) scores range from one to seven: a FIM(TM) item score of seven is categorized as "complete independence," while a score of one is "total assist" (performs less than 25% of task). Scores falling below six require another person for supervision or assistance.

The FIM(TM) measures independent performance in self-care, sphincter control, transfers, locomotion, communication, and social cognition. By adding the points for each item, the possible total score ranges from 18 (lowest) to 126 (highest) level of independence.

During rehabilitation, admission and discharge scores are rated by clinicians observing patient function. Functioning post-discharge can be accurately assessed using a telephone version of FIM(TM) when administered by qualified, trained interviewers.


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