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Disability Rating Scale (DRS)

The instrument is freely available here:

Supplemental: Acute Hospitalized, Concussion/Mild TBI, Epidemiology
Basic for Moderate/Severe TBI: Rehabilitation
Short Description of Instrument
The Disability Rating Scale (DRS) contains 8 items. The first three items ("Eye Opening," "Communication Ability", and "Motor Response") are a modification of the Glasgow Coma Scale (scored in reverse), and reflect impairment and level of consciousness. Cognitive ability for "Feeding", "Toileting" and "Grooming" reflect level of disability. "Level of Functioning" and "Employability" reflect handicap.
The scale is completed by a clinician and requires some training to administer.
Administration time is 10 minutes.

Minimum score is 0 (without disability) and maximum score is 29 (extreme vegetative state).

Psychometric Properties
The DRS was developed and tested with older juvenile and adult individuals with moderate to severe TBI in inpatient rehabilitation setting. It can be used at all levels of functioning, from coma to return to community).
The scale is attractive because it is one of a few measures that can be used in both acute and chronic recovery intervals for moderate to severe TBI, and is useful in monitoring recovery. It has been widely used in studies of TBI and may have greater sensitivity to change than the Glasgow Outcome Scale.

Rappaport, M., Hall K.M., Hopkins, K., Belleza, T., Cope, D.N. (1982). Disability Rating Scale for Severe Head Trauma: Coma to Community. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 63: 118-123.


Document last updated February 2018