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Functional Independence Measure (FIM) - Motor Subscale
The FIM is proprietary. For further information about obtaining the scale, syllabus, and training materials please contact:

    Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation
    270 Northpointe Parkway, Suite 300
    Amherst, New York 14228
    (716) 817-7800 FAX (716) 568-0037

Basic: Acute/Hospitalized and Moderate/Severe Rehabilitaition Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Supplemental: Concussion/Mild TBI and Epidemiology TBI
Short Description of Instrument
The FIM is an 18-item ordinal scale, used with all diagnoses within a rehabilitation population. Items ars grouped into two subscales: Motor and Cognitive. The FIM measures degree of independence in activities of self-care, sphincter control, transfers, locomotion, communication, and cognition.
FIM was originally an acronym for "Functional Independence Measure". It is still often cited as this in the literature. The current owners of the FIM instrument have decided that the acronym FIM no longer stands for anything and should be referred to only as FIM.
The Motor Subscale consists of:
  • Eating
  • Grooming
  • Bathing
  • Dressing, upper body
  • Dressing, lower body
  • Toileting
  • Bladder management
  • Bowel management
  • Transfers - bed/chair/wheelchair
  • Transfers - toilet
  • Transfers - bath/shower
  • Walk/wheelchair
  • Stairs
Each item is scored on a 7 point ordinal scale, ranging from a score of 1 to a score of 7. The higher the score, the more independent the patient is in performing the task associated with that item.
  1. Total assistance with helper
  2. Maximal assistance with helper
  3. Moderate assistance with helper
  4. Minimal assistance with helper
  5. Supervision or setup with helper
  6. Modified independence with no helper
  7. Complete independence with no helper
The total score for the FIM motor subscale (the sum of the individual motor subscale items) will be a value between 13 and 91.
Scores may be used raw or converted to interval scores. Higher scores indicate greater independence.
Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation. 2009. The FIM System® Clinical Guide, Version 5.2. Buffalo: UDSMR.
Granger CV. The emerging science of functional assessment: our tool for outcomes analysis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1998;79(3):235-240.
Keith RA, Granger CV, et al. The functional independence measure: a new tool for rehabilitation. Adv Clin Rehabil 1987;1(3503663): 6-18.


Document last updated June 2019