What is the Modified Rankin Scale (mRS)?
When a person, unfortunately, suffers from a stroke or another type of neurological problem, their functional status is impacted to varying degrees. Some are only mildly impacted, and some are so horribly impacted they can’t do what they usually do. To help assess the functional status of such people, the was developed.
The Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) assesses specifically the severity of their disability by checking if they can perform their activities of daily living (ADLs) as well as other activities that they normally do. Are they still able to do their activities of daily living and other things on their own? Can they still do them, but they need assistance from others? Or can they no longer do them and require someone to do things for them?
The answers to these questions will help determine the specific score the patient will get on the Modified Rankin Scale. The specifics of this scale will be discussed later on in this guide.
The score will determine what will go into a person’s care plan, and the scale can be used to monitor the patient from time to time.
How to use the Modified Rankin Scale (mRS)
The Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) is easy to use and doesn’t require much from the professional using it since the only thing that needs to be done when engaging with the sheet is to select a number rating.
Before selecting a rating, the professional must schedule an interview with the patient who suffered a stroke or a neurological problem. During the interview, the professional will ask the patient a series of questions, all related to how they are feeling and if they can perform activities of daily living. You should also observe some of them, too, if you can.
Here are some questions that you can ask them:
- Are you able to bathe on your own?
- Can you go to the toilet on your own and clean up after yourself?
- Can you prepare your own meals?
- Do you have trouble eating (not just chewing and swallowing food, but also if you can hold utensils without trouble)?
- Can you dress?
- Can you walk?
You can tweak the questions to ascertain if they can do these things but require the aid of something or someone or if they can’t do certain things at all.
Make sure to ask them about other things they do that are not necessarily activities of daily living, like their hobbies and recreational activities.
If they have difficulty communicating, you may have a caregiver or companion who supports them daily to help them answer for you.
Once you get all the information you need, you can give the rating using the scale.
How to score the Modified Rankin Scale (mRS)
The Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) is easy to score because you don’t really need to calculate anything. The score options are already set and you only have to pick one out of seven possible scores. The scores also have set descriptions, so you will know where your patient falls based on your interview with them.
Here are the options:
- 0 = The patient has no symptoms at all.
- 1 = The patient has no significant disability despite symptoms. They are able to carry out all their usual duties and activities.
- 2 = The patient has a slight disability. They are unable to carry out all previous pre-stroke activities, but they are able to look after their own affairs without assistance.
- 3 = The patient has a moderate disability. They also require some help, but they are able to walk without assistance.
- 4 = The patient has a moderately severe disability. They are also unable to walk without assistance and they are unable to attend to their own bodily needs without assistance.
- 5 = The patient has a severe disability. They are bedridden, incontinent, and they require constant nursing care and attention.
- 6 = The patient is dead.
The score you assign should help you and your team determine what goes into the patient’s care plan.
Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) Example
Now you know what the purpose of the Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) is, how to score it, and what you need to do to determine what rating you will pick for your patient, it’s for you to see what it looks like! Here’s an example of a filled-out Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) sample.
If you like what you see and you believe that this will help you and your team treat patients with stroke or some other neurological problem better, then feel free to download a copy from our platform! You can choose to print it if you’d like to fill it out physically, or you can go paperless and fill out the PDF instead! It also comes with an Additional Comments box so you can write down your thoughts regarding your patient and possible plans that you and your team can work on.
When is it best to use the Modified Rankin Scale (mRS)?
The Modified Rankin Scale is best used after a person has suffered a stroke, traumatic brain damage, or some other neurological condition. The reason why this has to be used as early as possible is that the rating that you will give a patient who is dealing with a neurological condition, especially when they are in the stages of recovery, will help you and your team determine what exactly goes into the care plan for the patient.
Care plans may not necessarily be the same, and general care plans may not always apply, so the interview process of this scale is really important to tailor-fit the plan for them.
It’s important to use this scale as early as possible in order to get started with the necessary treatments immediately, especially if the patient has moderate to severe disabilities due to the impact of the neurological condition that they have.
Once a care plan has been developed and implemented, the Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) can be used as a monitoring tool during routine check-ups! This is so you can see if the patient is getting better. For example, you rated them a 4 the first time you used this scale. Then, after two routine check-ups, they scored a 3. That means they are getting better and that your care plan seems to be working. If they are not getting better or are getting worse, then it’s likely that your care plan isn’t working, and you may have to adjust things or overhaul it.
Who can use the Modified Rankin Scale (mRS)?
Since the Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) was designed to assess the functional status of patients who are suffering from neurological conditions, the following healthcare professionals can definitely use this for their work:
- Physical Therapists
- Occupational Therapists
So long as the person is highly trained and experienced when it comes to dealing with, assessing, and treating patients who have neurological problems, they are more than welcome to use this scale. The reason why not just anyone can use this is that this requires observing the patient in terms of how they are currently as well as what they can or can’t do. If the person using it is highly trained and experienced, their number ratings can be trusted. The score will guide treatment and interventions, after all.
If you wonder if this can be used as a self-assessment, the answer is no. The reason for this is that the scale requires an assessor who will not simply ask questions about activities of daily living and how the patient feels, but it also requires them to observe the patient when they can to make a well-informed rating. So, under no circumstance should this be used as a self-assessment scale.
What are the benefits of the Modified Rankin Scale (mRS)?
It’s a time-saving tool!
If you and your team are part of a busy hospital and you have a lot of patients to look after, then you will definitely love this tool because you don’t really have to do much when you engage with it. You will pick a single number that will serve as the score for your patient’s functional status. That’s it. While it may take a few minutes (don’t be surprised if it reaches an hour) to interview your patient and observe them, it should only take you between one to five minutes to accomplish the scale!
It can help educate the loved ones and friends of the patient.
The scale primarily focuses on the patient’s disabilities and if they can carry out their activities of daily living as well as other things that they normally do. This is also the key concern of the patient, their loved ones, and their friends. By using this scale, the rating you give will help all of them understand what the patient’s functional status is and what kind of support they need.
The Additional Comments box is here to help with that because it can serve as your opportunity to elaborate on things that the patient, their loved ones, and friends need to know.
It can guide treatment plans and interventions as well as monitor the patient.
As we mentioned earlier, the Modified Rankin Scale (mRS), specifically the rating that you selected for the patient, will help guide the treatment plan. Through the rating and the additional comments box, you can communicate the relevant information with your team, the patient, and the patient’s loved ones.
Other members of your team can conduct the tests that they feel are important when it comes to the aspects of the person that have been impacted by their neurological condition. Then, they can determine what should go into the patient’s care plan based on the results!
Physical therapists on your team can conduct routine physical therapy tests to help rehab whichever extremities have been affected. If they have slurred speech, speech therapists can play a role in the care plan to get them back to a state where they can speak clearly again. These are just some kinds of treatment that can be included in a care plan!
Eventually, you can use this as a monitoring tool to assess the patient’s recovery progress and how effective your team’s care plan is.
Why use Carepatron for neurological work?
If you are reading this guide and want to download the Modified Rankin Scale (mRS), then it’s highly likely that you are working specifically to treat patients with neurological conditions. Given that, your team will need a couple of assessments to administer to determine what should go into your patient’s care plan.
Take your time and browse around Carepatron’s resource vault (it’s not called that, but with the number of resources we have, it might as well be)! You will surely find something that will help you and your team because it covers various healthcare fields, especially physical therapy, CBT, and much more! Feel free to download as much as you want and need for free.
If you take advantage of our platform, you can also access our storage system, allowing you to store your clinical documents in a HIPAA-compliant manner! If you have filled out Modified Rankin Scales (mRS), you can store them with us and even set up who can access them besides you! Make sure to give access to your whole team. If you wrote things in the additional comments boxes of the scales, then you can easily pass information from one member to the next, and they, too, can easily share results from their end.
We at Carepatron, are all about helping healthcare professionals with their work, so take advantage of our platform so we can help streamline your workflows and help you preserve your work!