Karnofsky Performance Status Scale 

Updated: Dec 09, 2014
  • Author: Buck Christensen; Chief Editor: Buck Christensen  more...
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Karnofsky Performance Status Scale

The Karnofsky Performance Scale Index is an assessment tool for functional impairment. It can be used to compare effectiveness of different therapies and to assess the prognosis in individual patients. In most serious illnesses, the lower the Karnofsky score, the worse the likelihood of survival.

Table 1. Karnofsky Performance Status Scale [1, 2, 3] (Open Table in a new window)

Condition Value (%) level of Functional Capacity
Able to carry on normal activity and to work; no special care needed 100% No complaints; no evidence of disease
90% Able to carry on normal activity; minor signs or symptoms of disease
80% Normal activity with effort; some signs or symptoms of disease
Unable to work; able to live at home and care for most personal needs; varying amount of assistance needed 70% Cares for self; unable to carry on normal activity or to do active work
60% Requires occasional assistance but is able to care for most personal needs
50% Requires considerable assistance and frequent medical care
Unable to care for self; requires equivalent of institutional or hospital care; diseases may be progressing rapidly 40% Disabled; requires special care and assistance
30% Severely disabled; hospital admission indicated although death not imminent
20% Very sick; hospital admission necessary; active supportive treatment necessary
10% Moribund; fatal processes progressing rapidly
0% Dead