Karnofsky Performance Scale


The Karnofsky Performance Scale is an assessment tool intended to assist clinicians and caretakers in gauging a patient's functional status and ability to carry out activities of daily living.

It is important to assess a patient's performance on a regular basis, especially as the effects of HIV progress. Documentation of Karnofsky scores over time may be very useful in following a patient's course of illness, and can help a disabled patient in his/her application for disability benefits. It also is used for some research applications.

The Karnofsky Performance Scale
Description Percent (%)
Normal; no complaints; no evidence of disease 100
Able to carry on normal activity; minor signs or symptoms of disease 90
Normal activity with effort; some signs or symptoms of disease 80
Cares for self; unable to carry on normal activity or do work 70
Requires occasional assistance, but is able to care for most personal needs 60
Requires considerable assistance and frequent medical care 50
Disabled; requires special care and assistance 40
Severely disabled; hospitalization indicated although death not imminent 30
Very sick; hospitalization necessary; requires active support treatment 20
Moribund; fatal processes progressing rapidly 10
Dead 0