Promoting Excellence : Karnofsky Performance Scale

Instrument Name:
Karnofsky Performance Scale

Commonly used for assessing terminally ill patients, often used to determine appropriateness of hospice referral.

Clinical Care Tool - Clinical Assessment

D.A. Karnofsky, MD

Author Contact Information:
Not available

Karnofsky, DA & Burchenal, JH. The Clinical Evaluation of Chemotherapeutic Agents in Cancer. Pg. 196. In MacLeod CM (Ed), Evaluation of Chemotherapeutic Agents. Columbia Univ Press, 1949.

quality of life, function, functional performance, health status, physical disability

To use this tool:
No permission required

To view this tool: This site provides two versions of the Karnofsky Index. Scroll down to Functional Ability Tools.


Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care is a national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation dedicated to long-term changes in health care institutions to substantially improve care for dying people and their families. Visit for more resources.

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