Importance: Research is needed to validate an easy-to-use, functional, evidence-based neurological upper extremity (UE) assessment that requires minimal training.
Objective: To establish convergent validity for the Functional Upper Extremity Levels (FUEL), a function-based upper limb measure, with the Upper Extremity Fugl-Meyer Assessment (UE–FMA), the gold standard assessment of upper limb recovery poststroke.
Design: Retrospective chart review of 292 clients with admission and discharge data for the UE–FMA and the FUEL. Correlation statistics were analyzed to determine a relationship between these assessments.
Setting: Inpatient stroke rehabilitation unit.
Participants: Clients with a stroke diagnosis admitted to the stroke inpatient rehabilitation unit at a rehabilitation hospital between January 2017 and June 2019.
Outcomes and Measures: FUEL (a classification system) and UE–FMA (an impairment-based motor recovery assessment of the upper limb recovery poststroke).
Results: Pearson correlation coefficient yielded a significant positive correlation between the UE–FMA and the FUEL for both initial (r = .929) and discharge (r = .943) scores.
Conclusions and Relevance: Convergent validity of the FUEL is established using the UE–FMA as a comparison. The FUEL can be applied in neurological rehabilitation to provide a clinical picture of a client’s UE function. This research supports the value of the FUEL’s application in clinical poststroke care.
What This Article Adds: The FUEL is a valid tool to assess the UE in an acute neurological population.