Assessment Tools for the Elderly - Assessment Summary Sheet
Test: Katz Index
of Activities of Daily Living (Katz Index of ADL)
Assessment Tool Category: Physical Functioning/ADLs
Test Category (Bio, Psycho or Social): Biological
Method of Delivery: Completed by a health professional
Description: The Index of ADL is used to measure the
physical functioning of chronically ill patients and the elderly.
It can be used to describe the severity of chronic illness, to
evaluate the treatment effectiveness and to predict the course of
illness. It assesses independence in six functions: bathing,
dressing, toileting, transfer from bed to chair, continence and
feeding. The rater rates each activity based on observation and
interview. Observations of transfer, locomotion, and communication
Scoring/Interpretation: Each activity is rated on a
three-point scale of independence and the most dependent degree of
performance during a two week period is recorded (McDowell &
Newell, 1996). Using a guideline, scoring involves translating the
three points into “dependent/independent” rankings
before summarizing the overall performance on an eight-point
scale. Simplified scoring involving counting the number of
activities in which the participant is dependent and assigning a
number from 0 to 6 (0 being independence in all functions while 6
is dependence in all functions).
Time to Administer: 10 minutes (McDowell & Newell,
Availability: Found in Katz et al. (1963).
Validity (Quantitative): The scores of the Index showed
a correlation of 0.5 with a mobility scale, and 0.39 with a house
confinement scale (Katz, Ford & Moskowitz, et al., 1963). The
Index of ADL is not resistant to the floor effect seeing by all
other ADL scales: it is insensitive to variations in low levels of
disability (McDowell & Newell, 1996).
Reliability (Quantitative): ): Inter-rater reliability
has been assessed and it has been found that inter-observer
variability occurred 1/20 evaluations or less (Katz et al., 1963).
Katz, S., Ford, A.B., Moskowitz, R.W., et al. (1963). Studies
of illness in the aged. The Index of ADL: a standardized measure
of biological and psychosocial function. JAMA,
McDowell, I. & Newell, C. (1996). Measuring Health: A
Guide to Rating Scales and Questionnaires. (2nd ed.). New
York: Oxford University Press. Pp. 63-67.