Disability Rating Scale

This established scale was developed as a method of rating the effects of traumatic brain injury to determine how long recovery might take. The DRS provides insight into the patient's cognitive impairment by tracking progress over time. Key aspects of disability are assessed, including the impairment and handicap of an individual. Eye opening, communication ability, and motor response are among the capabilities measured. Data that reflects these aspects of function can predict the patient's length of stay in rehabilitation and the ability to return to employment. A primary advantage of the DRS is its ability to track patient progress. Its ease in assessing a patients progress makes the scale a valuable clinical tool. Scaling a person's general behavioral disability is another benefit of the DRS.

Disability Rating Scale

Category

Item

Instructions

 Score 

Arousability, Awareness and Responsivity Eye Opening

0 = spontaneous

1 = to speech

2 = to pain

3 = none

 
Communication  Ability

0 = oriented  

1 = confused

2 = inappropriate

3 = incomprehensible
4 = none

 
Motor Response

0 = obeying

1 = localizing

2 = withdrawing

3 = flexing

4 = extending

5 = none

 
Cognitive Ability for Self Care Activities Feeding

0 = complete

1 = partial 

2 = minimal  

3 = none

 
Toileting

0 = complete  

1 = partial  

2 = minimal  

3 = none

 
Grooming

0 = complete  

1 = partial  

2 = minimal  

3 = none

 
Dependence on Others Level of Functioning

0 = completely independent  

1 = independent in special environment

2 = mildly dependent  

3 = moderately dependent

4 = markedly dependent  

5 = totally dependent

 
Psychosocial  Adaptability Employability

0 = not restricted  

1 = selected jobs

2 = sheltered workshop (non-competitive)

3 = not employable

 
Total DR Score   

Disability Categories

Total DR Score

Level of Disability

None

Mild

2-3 

Partial

4-6 

Moderate

7-11 

Moderately Severe

12-16 

Severe

17-21 

Extremely Severe 

22-24 

Vegetative State

25-29 

Extreme Vegetative State

 

Scoring Instructions

Rappaport et al., (1982). Disability rating scale for severe head trauma patients: coma to community. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 63: 118-123