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Stroke Impact Scale-16


P.W. Duncan, S.M. Lai, R.K. Bode, S. Perera, J. DeRosa (2003)

Background and Development:

The SIS-16 was developed from the SIS Overall Physical domain (28 items) with the objective to develop a short instrument able to assess stroke physical function 1-3 months post-stroke. Statistical analysis of the degree to which items fit to the measure of a single construct, and testing the extent to which items distinguish different levels of stroke were used to eliminate 12 items. The remaining 16-item questionnaire assesses an Overall Physical domain of stroke including the first four domains of the SIS (Strength, Hand Function, Activities of Daily Living / Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, and Mobility). The SIS-16 is available in a proxy version for when patients are unable to answer for themselves.

Person separation reliability of the SIS-16 was only slightly less than the SIS Overall Physical Domain. Comparison of SIS-16 and Barthel Index scores to Rankin levels showed that SIS-16 scores provided for better discrimination of ability at higher Rankin levels, and a wider spread of scores over all levels.

More information about the SIS-16 can be found at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Center on Aging Website:

Validation in Elderly Populations:

Average age of the test population was 68.

Validation in Minority Populations:

The SIS-16 has not been tested specifically in minority populations.

Subsequent Studies:

None have been reported.

Design Strengths and Weaknesses:

The SIS-16 is more discriminative than other indices (such as the Barthel Index) in patients with mild to moderate strokes. There is less of a ceiling effect with fewer patients scoring at or near maximum values. It is a rapid assessment of stroke impairment, however, it only measures the physical aspects of stroke, and none of the mental or social aspects which the SIS can measure.

Contact Information:

This SIS-16 questionnaire is published as an appendix in Duncan et al. (2003): Hard copy and Access database versions are also available at The Stroke Impact Scale-16 is a copyrighted instrument. It can be copied and used freely but cannot be changed.


P.W. Duncan, S.M. Lai, R.K. Bode, S. Perera, J. DeRosa (2003) Stroke Impact Scale-16: A brief assessment of physical function. Neurology 60(2), 291-296.

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