Assessment of functional independence and residual disability is very important for measuring treatment outcome after stroke. The modified Rankin Scale (mRS) and the modified Barthel Index (MBI) are commonly used scales to measure disability or dependence in activities of daily living (ADL) of stroke survivors. Lack of consensus regarding MBI score categories has caused confusion in interpreting stroke outcomes. The purpose of this study was to identify the optimal corresponding MBI and modified Rankin scale (mRS) grades for categorization of MBI. The Korean versions of the MBI (K-MBI) and mRS were collected from 5,759 stroke patients at 3 months after onset of stroke. The sensitivity and specificity were calculated at K-MBI score cutoffs for each mRS grade to obtain optimally corresponding K-MBI scores and mRS grades. We also plotted receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves of sensitivity and specificity and determined the area under the curve (AUC). The K-MBI cutoff points with the highest sum of sensitivity and specificity were 100 (sensitivity 0.940; specificity 0.612), 98 (sensitivity 0.904; specificity 0.838), 94 (sensitivity 0.885; specificity 0.937), 78 (sensitivity 0.946; specificity, 0.973), and 55 (sensitivity 937; specificity 0.986) for mRS grades 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. From this result, the K-MBI cutoff score range for each mRS grade can be obtained. For mRS grade 0, the K-MBI cutoff score is 100, indicating no associated score range. For mRS grades 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, the K-MBI score ranges is from 99 to 98, 97 to 94, 93 to 78, 77 to 55, and under 54, respectively.The AUC for the ROC curve was 0.791 for mRS grade 0, 0.919 for mRS grade 1, 0.970 for mRS grade 2, 0.0 for mRS grade 3, and 0.991 for mRS grade 4. The K-MBI cutoff score ranges for representing mRS grades were variable; mRS grades 0, 1, and 2 had narrow K-MBI score ranges, while mRS grades 3, 4, and 5 exhibited broad K-MBI score ranges. mRS grade seemed to sensitively differentiate mild residual disability of stroke survivors, whereas K-MBI provided more specific information of the functional status of stroke survivors with moderate to severe residual impairment.
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