Concordance of Barthel Index, ECOG-PS, and Palliative Performance Scale in the assessment of functional status in patients with advanced medical diseases

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Analysing most relevant clinical features and concordance between different functional scales in patients with advanced medical diseases (PAMD).


Cross-sectional multicentre study that included PAMD (heart, lung, kidney, liver, and neurological diseases) in hospital settings from February 2009 to October 2010. We analysed clinical, biological and functional features in performing activities of daily living (ADL) by medians of Barthel Index (BI); additionally we assessed their performance status by medians of Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group-Performance Status (ECOG-PS) and Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) scores. We evaluated the concordance of these instruments in assessing functional impairment by κ and intraclass correlation coefficient tests.


1847 patients were included (average age 79 years, 50.1% men). Most common symptoms were dyspnoea (62.31%), asthenia (23%) and delirium (20.14%). Functional assessment showed a high prevalence of severe or total impairment in performing basic ADL by medians of used instruments (BI median=35 (IQR=70), and 52.1% of patients with severe–total impairment; ECOG-PS median=2 (IQR 30), and 44% of patients with severe–total impairment; and PPS median=50 (IQR 30), and 32% of patients with severe–total impairment). Concordance among these instruments was acceptably good (κ indexes ranging from 0.653 to 0.745 (p<0.0001)).


PAMD represent a population with severe functional impairment, which requires a multidisciplinary approach for proper management. Assessment of functional ability in this population by BI, ECOG-PS, and PPS showed good concordance.

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