Abstract

OBJECTIVE. The Functional Upper Extremity Levels (FUEL) is a new classification tool to assess a person’s upper-extremity functional and physical performance after sustaining a stroke. The aim of this preliminary study was to develop the tool and determine its content validity and interrater reliability.

METHOD. Forty-four licensed occupational therapists ranging in years of experience from 6 mo to 16 yr participated in this study. A two-phase study was conducted: (1) constructing the FUEL and determining its content validity and (2) ascertaining its interrater reliability.

RESULTS. We found that the FUEL had initial content validity and substantial interrater reliability (Fleiss κ = .754).

CONCLUSION. The FUEL can be a useful clinical and research tool in occupational therapy for the assessment and classification of upper-extremity function for people after stroke. Further studies with larger samples and comparison studies with other similar tools are required to support the tool’s reliability and validity.

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