Karnofsky Performance Status Scale 

Updated: Dec 04, 2018
  • 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