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Karnofsky Scale

In order to objectively document a patient’s clinical needs, the Karnofsky Scale is a tool that assesses one’s ability to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). If a patient’s ADL is lower than 70%, he or she is most often eligible for hospice care.

Description of Function/Activities/Needs Index
Normal, no complaints; no evidence of disease 100%
Able to carry on normal activity; minor signs of disease 90%
Normal activity with effort; some signs of symptoms of disease 80%
Cares for self; unable to carry on normal activity or to do active work 70%
Requires occasional assistance but is able to care for most of own needs 60%
Requires considerable assistance with ADLs and frequent medical care 50%
Disabled; requires special care and maximum assistance 40%
Severely disabled, although death not imminent 30%
Gravely ill; unable to swallow; totally dependent 20%
Actively dying 10%
Death