Functional Capacity Scale


The Functional Capacity Scale incorporates energy rating, symptom severity, and activity level. The description after each scale number can be used to rate functional capacity.

0 = No energy, severe symptoms including very poor concentration; bed ridden all day; cannot do self-care (e.g. need bed bath to be given).

1 = Severe symptoms at rest, including very poor concentration; in bed most of the day; need assistance with self-care activities (bathing).

2 = Severe symptoms at rest, including poor concentration; frequent rests or naps; need some assistance with limited self-care activities (can wash face at the sink) and need rest afterwards for severe post exertional fatigue.

3 = Moderate symptoms at rest, including poor concentration; need frequent rests or naps; can do independent self-care (can wash standing at the sink for a few minutes) but have severe post exertion fatigue and need rest.

4 = Moderate symptoms at rest, including some difficulty concentrating; need frequent rests throughout the day; can do independent self-care (can take a shower) and limited activities of daily living (e.g. light housework, laundry); can walk for a few minutes per day.

5 = Mild symptoms at rest with fairly good concentration for short periods (15 minutes); need a.m. and p.m. rest; can do independent self-care and moderate activities of daily living, but have slight post exertion fatigue; can walk 10-20 minutes per day.

6 = Mild or no symptoms at rest with fairly good concentration for up to 45 minutes; cannot multitask; need afternoon rest; can do most activities of daily living except vacuuming; can walk 20-30 minutes per day; can do volunteer work – maximum total time 4 hours per week, with flexible hours.

7 = Mild or no symptoms at rest with good concentration for up to 1⁄2 day; can do more intense activities of daily living (e.g. grocery shopping, vacuuming), but may get post exertion fatigue if ‘overdo’; can walk 30 minutes per day; can work limited hours, less than 25 hours per week; no or minimal social life.

8 = Mild intermittent symptoms with good concentration; can do full self-care, work 40 hours per week, enjoy a social life, do moderate vigorous exercise three times per week.

9 = No symptoms; very good concentration; full work and social life; can do vigorous exercise three to five times a week.

10 = No symptoms; excellent concentration; over achiever (sometimes may require less sleep than average person).

[Dr. Alison Bested © Dr. Lynn Marshall. May be copied for individual use.]

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