Karnofsky Performance Scale

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Karnofsky Performance Scale or (KPS) was named after Dr. David A. Karnofsky (1914 – 1969), an American clinical oncologist. Karnofsky, together with Dr. Walter H. Abelmann, Dr. Lloyd F. Craver, and Dr. Joseph H. Burchenal developed the Karnofsky Performance Status Scale in 1948 in order to evaluate a patient's ability to survive chemotherapy for cancer in a more objective manner.[1]

Karnofsky scoring[edit | edit source]

The Karnofsky score runs from 100 to 0, where 100 is "perfect" health and 0 is death. Practitioners occasionally assign performance scores in between standard intervals of 10.

100 – Normal; 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.
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 of their personal needs.
50 – Requires considerable assistance and frequent medical care.
40 – Disabled; requires special care and assistance.
30 – Severely disabled; hospital admission is indicated although death not imminent.
20 – Very sick; hospital admission necessary; active supportive treatment necessary.
10 – Moribund; fatal processes progressing rapidly.
0 – Dead

Use in ME/CFS[edit | edit source]

The scale was shown to be valid in patients with chronic pain, but not specifically for chronic fatigue syndrome.[2][3] Its use is considered exploratory for Myalgic encephalomyelitis/Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).[4]

Notable studies[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Karnofsky DA, Abelmann WH, Craver LF, Burchenal JH. The Use of the Nitrogen Mustards in the Palliative Treatment of Carcinoma - with Particular Reference to Bronchogenic Carcinoma. Cancer. 1948;1(4):634-56
  2. Grieco A, Long CJ. Investigation of the Karnofsky Performance Status as a measure of quality of life. Health Psychol. 1984;3(2):129–42 PMID:6536486
  3. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US)); Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center (December 2014), Diagnosis and Treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  4. https://www.commondataelements.ninds.nih.gov/ReportViewer.aspx?/nindscdereports/rptNOC&rs:Command=Render&rc:Parameters=false&crfID=F2740
  5. Mor V, Laliberte L, Morris JN, Wiemann M.(1984). The Karnofsky Performance Status Scale. An examination of its reliability and validity in a research setting. Cancer. 1984 May 1;53(9):2002-7. PMID:6704925