Fugl Meyer Assessment

Use the Fugl Meyer Assessment (FMA) to assess recovery in post-stroke hemiplegic patients. Check out our guide and download our free template.

By Patricia Buenaventura on May 15, 2024.

Fact Checked by RJ Gumban.

Use Template

What is a Fugl Meyer Assessment (FMA)?

The Fugl Meyer Assessment (FMA) is a pivotal tool in stroke rehabilitation, specifically designed to evaluate motor impairment in post-stroke hemiplegic patients. This assessment focuses on the upper extremity, providing invaluable insights into the motor and sensory impairments often accompanying stroke onset. More specifically, they check the following domains:

  • Motor function in both the upper and lower extremities, such as the movement, reflex, and coordination of the shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist, hand, hip, knee, and ankle
  • Sensation
  • Balance
  • Joint range of motion
  • Joint pain

In stroke rehabilitation, especially for chronic stroke patients, the FMA is vital in assessing upper limb motor function. It is a comprehensive measure encompassing various motor and perceptual impairments impacting a patient's daily life.

The FMA Total Motor Scores, derived from subtests like the Action Research Arm Test (ARAT), Arm Function Assessment, and the Block Test, offer a nuanced understanding of the patient's motor abilities. This detailed evaluation aids healthcare practitioners in tailoring effective rehabilitation plans, considering joint pain, sensorimotor function, and overall upper extremity function.

The test has over 100 items, utilizes a 3-point ordinal scale for scoring, and can take 30 minutes or a maximum of 2 hours to complete. For scoring, the points are as follows per domain:

  • 66 points for Motor Function in the Upper Extremity
  • 34 points for Motor Function in the Lower Extremity
  • 14 points for Balance
  • 24 points for Sensation in both the Upper and Lower Extremities
  • 44 points for Passive Joint Motion in both the Upper and Lower Extremities
  • 44 points for Joint Pain in both the Upper and Lower Extremities

In clinical practice, FMA has proven to be an invaluable asset for chronic stroke patients and those in the acute phase. The measurement properties of FMA, including its sensitivity to changes in motor performance and its role in evaluating motor recovery early in the rehabilitation process, make it an indispensable tool.

A critical review of the FMA emphasizes its reliability and validity in assessing the motor domain. Integrating FMA with other assessments, such as the Motor Assessment Scale and the Arm Motor Ability Test, contributes to a holistic understanding of a patient's condition.

For healthcare practitioners, the Fugl Meyer Assessment is a guiding light in rehabilitation medicine. Its adaptability to different stroke stages, from acute to chronic, underscores its relevance and applicability across diverse patient populations. In neurorehabilitation and neural repair, the FMA stands as a beacon for promoting optimal outcomes, particularly when combined with interventions like Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy.

Printable Fugl Meyer Assessment

Download this Fugl Meyer Assessment to assess recovery in post-stroke hemiplegic patients.

How Does this Fugl Meyer Assessment Work?

Step One. Prepare the test environment

Before you begin, ensure you have a place where you can conduct the test without distractions. Ideally, the place must be quiet, spacious, and have the following pieces of equipment:

  • A scrap of paper
  • Tennis ball
  • Cotton ball
  • Pencil
  • Reflex Hammer
  • Cylinder
  • Goniometer
  • Stopwatch
  • Chair
  • Bedside
  • Table
  • Optional: Blindfold

Step Two. Access the template

Once you've prepared the test environment, access the template by clicking the “Use Template” or “Download Template” in this guide or search “Fugl-Meyer Assessment” in Carepatron's template library on the website or app. 

Step Three. Conduct the test

Have a copy of the template? Open it on Carepatron or your local PDF editor and proceed to conduct the test. Instruct your patient verbally or demonstrate each item to replicate to the best of their abilities. It's recommended that you follow the flow written on the template. 

Remember to score them immediately after every item. 

Step Four. Calculate the scores 

You can calculate the scores as soon as you've reviewed all the items. To obtain the total score, add the subtotals. For interpretation purposes, utilize the sum of the scores from the Upper and Lower Extremity Motor Function test. 

Fugl Meyer Assessment example (sample)

The Fugl Meyer Assessment (FMA) structure, available in the Fugl Meyer Assessment PDF, comprises a systematic evaluation of motor function in post-stroke patients. Divided into upper and lower extremity sections, it utilizes subtests like the Action Research Arm Test (ARAT) and the Motor Assessment Scale.

The PDF format enhances accessibility, allowing healthcare practitioners to navigate the assessment guidelines, scoring criteria, and interpretation details efficiently. This user-friendly resource streamlines the process of conducting a comprehensive evaluation, empowering practitioners to assess and address motor impairments in stroke patients with clarity and precision.

Download this Fugl Meyer Assessment Example (Sample) here:

Fugl Meyer Assessment Example (Sample)

What do the results mean?

Interpreting the results of the Fugl Meyer Assessment, encompassing the Box and Block Test, Action Research Arm Test (ARAT), and other key components, is essential for understanding an individual's motor recovery after a cerebrovascular accident, especially in post-stroke hemiplegic patients undergoing chronic stroke rehabilitation.

FMA motor scores and total score

The FMA Motor Scores, derived from subtests like the ARAT and the Box and Block Test, contribute to the FMA Motor Total Score. Higher scores indicate improved motor function, reflecting positive outcomes in stroke recovery. Conversely, lower scores may indicate ongoing motor impairment, signaling the need for targeted interventions.

Psychometric properties ensure reliability

The psychometric properties of the Fugl Meyer Assessment play a crucial role in interpreting results. By ensuring the reliability and validity of the assessment, practitioners can trust that the obtained scores accurately reflect the individual's motor and sensory impairment, contributing to a more informed decision-making process in stroke rehabilitation.

Assessment of motor recovery across upper extremity

The Fugl Meyer Assessment evaluates motor recovery across the upper extremity, providing insights into specific areas of impairment and recovery. This information guides practitioners in tailoring interventions to address joint pain, sensory impairment, and overall upper limb motor function.

Joint range of motion and lower extremity function

Beyond the upper limb, the assessment includes considerations for joint range of motion and lower extremity function. This holistic approach enables a comprehensive understanding of motor recovery, facilitating targeted upper and lower extremities rehabilitation strategies.

Clinical significance in chronic stroke patients

For chronic stroke patients, the results of the Fugl Meyer Assessment hold clinical significance. Improvements in FMA Motor Scores and Total scores over time suggest positive progress in chronic stroke rehabilitation, demonstrating the effectiveness of ongoing interventions and rehabilitation efforts.

Integration in clinical trials

The Fugl Meyer Assessment results serve as valuable outcome measures in clinical trials. The standardized nature of the assessment, combined with its psychometric properties, ensures consistency in data collection, making it a reliable tool for researchers studying motor recovery and evaluating the efficacy of interventions.

Functional tasks and independence

The assessment's focus on functional tasks provides a practical dimension to the results. Improved scores indicate enhanced performance in daily activities, fostering independence and quality of life for individuals recovering from stroke.

The results of the Fugl Meyer Assessment, enriched by the psychometric properties and integration of key subtests, offer a nuanced understanding of motor recovery after stroke. Practitioners can use these results to guide personalized rehabilitation plans, track progress, and optimize outcomes for individuals undergoing chronic stroke rehabilitation.

When to use this Fugl Meyer Assessment test?

The Fugl Meyer Assessment (FMA) is an essential tool in various clinical scenarios for evaluating motor functioning, particularly in neurorehabilitation and neural repair. Here's when to deploy this valuable resource:

Acute stroke patients

FMA is crucial in the early stages of stroke, providing a baseline for assessing motor severity and initiating timely interventions.

Stroke survivors

For ongoing rehabilitation, the FMA is instrumental in monitoring progress and tailoring interventions to promote functional recovery in stroke survivors.

Clinical trials

FMA serves as a standardized outcome measure in clinical trials, ensuring a comprehensive assessment of motor and perceptual impairments with a focus on upper limb function.

Assess motor functioning

In acute and chronic settings, FMA is indispensable for assessing motor functioning, offering insights into joint range, sensorimotor function, and overall upper extremity movement.

Neural repair and neurorehabilitation

FMA plays a pivotal role in neural repair and neurorehabilitation, facilitating the evaluation of sensorimotor recovery and guiding interventions for optimal outcomes.

Testing motor performance

The FMA, including the Arm Motor Ability Test and Block Test, is ideal for testing motor performance, enabling practitioners to gauge normal motor performance and identify areas requiring attention.

Functional recovery

FMA is a key resource for monitoring and promoting functional recovery, providing a comprehensive overview of upper limb function and motor system integrity.

Evaluation in clinical practice

In routine clinical practice, FMA offers a structured approach to assess motor and perceptual impairments, aiding practitioners in making informed decisions for tailored rehabilitation plans.

Early evaluation

FMA is particularly valuable for evaluating motor recovery early in rehabilitation, allowing for timely and targeted interventions.

Upper extremity movement

FMA's focus on upper extremity movement makes it ideal for assessing and addressing specific challenges related to upper limb function.

Benefits of the Free Fugl Meyer Assessment

The free Fugl Meyer Assessment offers several key benefits, making it a valuable tool in the realm of stroke rehabilitation and motor recovery

Comprehensive evaluation of motor function

The Free Fugl Meyer Assessment provides a holistic and detailed examination of motor function, encompassing the upper extremity and addressing the motor domain comprehensively. This ensures a thorough understanding of the patient's motor and sensory impairments.

Tailored rehabilitation for post-stroke hemiplegic patients

Specifically designed for post-stroke hemiplegic patients, this assessment enables healthcare practitioners to tailor rehabilitation plans based on each individual's unique needs and challenges.

Integration of action research arm test (ARAT) and box and block test

The Free Fugl Meyer Assessment incorporates key subtests like the Action Research Arm Test and the Box and Block Test. This integration enhances the assessment's accuracy, offering a more nuanced evaluation of motor recovery and upper limb motor function.

Critical review and robust measurement properties

This assessment has undergone critical review, solidifying its reliability and validity. The robust measurement properties ensure that the data collected is accurate and consistent, giving practitioners confidence in the results.

Applicability in chronic stroke rehabilitation

The Free Fugl Meyer Assessment is particularly beneficial for chronic stroke patients. Its structured approach to evaluating motor impairment and joint pain makes it a valuable resource for ongoing rehabilitation, promoting long-term recovery and improved upper limb motor function.

Enhanced neurorehabilitation and neural repair outcomes

The Free Fugl Meyer Assessment enhances neurorehabilitation and neural repair outcomes by addressing the motor and sensory components. This is crucial for optimizing physical performance and supporting patients in regaining functional independence.

The free Fugl Meyer Assessment is a comprehensive, accessible, and valuable resource for healthcare practitioners engaged in stroke rehabilitation. From tailored interventions for post-stroke hemiplegic patients to its critical review and integration of key subtests, this assessment offers a multifaceted approach to evaluating and improving motor function in individuals recovering from stroke, particularly in chronic cases.

Why use this Fugl Meyer app?

The Carepatron platform is a revolutionary tool for healthcare practitioners, offering a dedicated Fugl Meyer Assessment app and software that streamlines the assessment process. The app ensures accuracy in scoring and documentation, optimizing workflow for stroke rehabilitation and motor recovery professionals. Carepatron's practice management software provides a centralized hub for organizing and overseeing patient care processes, integrating motor function evaluations into a holistic approach to patient care.

  • You'll have free access to the following features that'll equip you with the tools, means, and resources you need to do tasks efficiently and with ease:
  • You can download over 100 PDF resources such as tests, assessments, forms, and surveys and print or edit digitally.
  • A HIPAA-compliant and secure EHR where you can store all your digital notes and billing history as well as your patients' medical and payment history
  • Your favorite scheduling and telehealth software applications integrated into your dashboard
  • An automated payment system you can set up for your client.

The electronic patient records feature in Carepatron securely stores and easily accessible Fugl Meyer Assessment data, facilitating evidence-based decision-making and tailoring interventions based on accurate information. The patient portal software empowers patients to actively participate in their rehabilitation journey, accessing their results, tracking progress, and communicating with healthcare providers. This transparency and patient involvement contribute to a collaborative and patient-centered approach to stroke rehabilitation.

The Carepatron platform is the preferred environment for Fugl Meyer Assessment work, offering a comprehensive ecosystem for efficient, accurate, and patient-centric stroke rehabilitation and motor recovery management. Healthcare practitioners can deliver exceptional care and support patients on their journey to recovery with the tools provided by Carepatron.

Have these and more only on Carepatron! Sign up today!

Clinical documentation software benefit
Who created the Fugl Meyer Assessment?
Who created the Fugl Meyer Assessment?

Commonly asked questions

Who created the Fugl Meyer Assessment?

The Fugl Meyer Assessment (FMA) was developed by the neurologists Johan Fugl-Meyer, Gösta Jääskö, and Carl-Olof Leyman. Initially introduced in 1975, this assessment has since become widely used for evaluating motor function, particularly in individuals recovering from stroke.

How to score the Fugl Meyer Assessment?

Scoring the Fugl Meyer Assessment involves assigning points based on a person's performance in various motor tasks, such as the Action Research Arm Test and the Box and Block Test. Each subtest contributes to the total score, providing a quantitative measure of motor recovery. Higher scores indicate better motor function and recovery.

How to interpret the Fugl Meyer Assessment score?

Interpreting the Fugl Meyer Assessment score involves understanding the total points achieved, with higher scores signifying improved motor function. Practitioners consider the specific subtest scores to identify areas of strength or weakness. The interpretation guides healthcare professionals in tailoring rehabilitation plans to address individual needs for optimal outcomes in stroke recovery.

Join 10,000+ teams using Carepatron to be more productive

One app for all your healthcare work