The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) has a definition for functional health status prior to surgery.

Functional health status is based on the patient's ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL) prior to surgery.


Activities of daily living:

(1) bathing

(2) feeding

(3) dressing

(4) toileting

(5) mobility


Functional health status is recorded for prior to current illness and for the 30 days prior to surgery.


Performance of ADL

Functional Level

independent in all


requires some assistance

partially dependent

requires total assistance for all

totally dependent

unable to assess



Total dependency is considered poor functional status.


Functional status is independent of the use of prosthesis, device or equipment since it is based on the need for assistance from another.

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