n. a measure of one's ability to independently perform Activities of Daily Living. On a point scale, it rates functional status on 10 specific items, the scores of which would determine how much assistance a patient requires to perform each activity. Depending on the scale used, these individual ratings yield a total score of either 20 or 100. First developed in the 20th century by U.S. psychologist Dorothea Barthel.
BARTHEL INDEX: "When rated on a Barthel Index, the higher you score, the more you are able to improve and live independently. "