Karnofsky performance status
Citation, DOI & article data
The Karnofsky performance status (KPS) is a standardized measure of a patient’s ability to perform a variety of ordinary tasks. It is a score that ranges from 0 to 100 with a higher score indicating higher (less impaired) function. It is widely used in trials and allows for patient groups to be compared.
- 100: normal; no complaints; no evidence of disease
- 90: able to carry on normal activity; minor signs or symptoms of disease
- 80: normal activity with effort; some signs or symptoms of disease
- 70: cares for self; unable to carry on normal activity or to do active work
- 60: requires occasional assistance, but is able to care for most of their personal needs
- 50: requires considerable assistance and frequent medical care.
- 40: disabled; requires special care and assistance
- 30: severely disabled; hospital admission is indicated although death is not imminent
- 20: very sick; hospital admission necessary; active supportive treatment necessary
- 10: moribund; fatal processes progressing rapidly
- 0: dead
History and etymology
Karnofsky performance status was first published by David A. Karnofsky et al in 1948 as part of a paper on the efficacy of nitrogen mustards on carcinoma 1.
- 1. Karnofsky, D. A., Abelmann, W. H., Craver, L. F., & Burchenal, J. H. (1948). The use of the nitrogen mustards in the palliative treatment of carcinoma: With particular reference to bronchogenic carcinoma. Cancer, 1(4), 634–656. https://doi.org/10.1002/1097-0142(194811)1:4<634::AID-CNCR2820010410>3.0.CO;2-L