Functional Ambulation Category

Original Editor - Rucha Gadgil

Top Contributors - Rucha Gadgil, Lucinda hampton and Kim Jackson  

Objective[edit | edit source]

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The Functional Ambulation Categories (FAC) is a 6-point functional walking test that evaluates ambulation ability, determining how much human support the patient requires when walking, regardless of whether or not they use a personal assistive device. The FAC is a quick visual measurement of walking, is simple to use, easy to interpret, and cost-effective because only stairs and 15m of indoor floor are needed to administer the test[1].

Intended Population[edit | edit source]

It is used in Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis and other neurological conditions to measure their walking ability.

Method of Use[edit | edit source]

  • Clinician- ticked box of walking ability
  • 5 min to complete
  • Pen and paper needed
  • no training requires

Instrument[edit | edit source]

Scoring and Score Interpretation[2]:

Score Category Interpretation
0 Nonfunctional ambulator
1 Ambulator, dependent on physical assistance – level I Indicates a patient who requires continuous manual contact to support body weight as well as to maintain balance or to assist coordination.
2 Ambulator, dependent on physical assistance – level II Indicates a patient who requires intermittent or continuous light touch to assist balance or coordination.
3 Ambulator, dependent on supervision Indicates a patient who can ambulate on level surface without manual contact of another person but requires standby guarding of one person either for safety or verbal cueing.
4 Ambulator, independent level surface only Indicates a patient who can ambulate independently on level surface but requires supervision to negotiate (e.g. stairs, inclines, nonlevel surfaces).
5 Ambulator, independent Indicates a patient who can walk everywhere independently, including stairs.

Evidence[edit | edit source]

Reliability[edit | edit source]

  • good interrater reliability (κ=.72)[3]
  • excellent test-retest reliability (k=.950)[2]

Validity[edit | edit source]

  • Excellent concurrent validity[2]

Responsiveness[edit | edit source]

  • moderate to large effect sizes when the FAC was used to evaluate change in ambulation over a period of 6-months[2]

Links[edit | edit source]

Find it here.

Related information: here

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wade D.T. Measurement in neurological rehabilitation. Oxford Medical Publications, Oxford. 1992.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Mehrholz, J., Wagner, K., Rutte, K., Meiner, D. and Pohl, M. Predictive validity and responsiveness of the Functional Ambulation Category in hemiparetic patients after stroke. Archives of Physical Medicine Rehabilitation, 2007, 88, 1314-1319.
  3. Holden M.K., Gill K.M., Magliozzi M.R., Nathan J., Piehl-Baker L. Clinical gait assessment in the neurologically impaired Reliability and meaningfulness. Phys Ther. 1984; 64: 35-40