Modified Rankin scale

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 27 Oct 2023

The modified Rankin scale (mRS) is commonly used to quantify functional outcome in individuals who suffer a neurological event. The scale was initially described by Rankin in 1957 to assess the outcome of cerebrovascular accidents 1. It has subsequently been modified 2,3 and has been used in a wide variety of clinical contexts (e.g. stroke, glioma and traumatic brain injury). 

The scale comprises seven levels, from 0 to 6, with higher scores indicating greater disability and where 0-2 is generally considered a good outcome with individuals assuming complete functional independence. A modified Rankin score of 6 is often used to denote an individual who is deceased. 

Scale description

  • 0: no symptoms/normal (physical, cognitive etc.)

  • 1: no significant disability despite symptoms; able to carry out all usual duties and activities

  • 2: slight disability; unable to carry out all previous activities, but able to look after own affairs without assistance

  • 3: moderate disability; requiring some help, but able to walk without assistance from another individual (use of walking aids alone is not counted as assistance)

  • 4: moderately severe disability; unable to walk without assistance and unable to attend to own bodily needs without assistance

  • 5: severe disability; bedridden, incontinent and requiring constant nursing care and attention

  • 6: dead

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