National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS)

Purpose of the measure

The NIHSS is a 15-item impairment scale, intended to evaluate
neurologic outcome and degree of recovery for patients with stroke. The
scale assesses level of consciousness, extraocular movements, visual
fields, facial muscle function, extremity strength, sensory function,
coordination (ataxia), language (aphasia), speech (dysarthria), and
hemi-inattention (neglect) (Lyden, Lu, & Jackson, 1999; Lyden, Lu,
& Levine, 2001). The NIHSS was designed to assess differences in
interventions in clinical trials, although its use is increasing in
patient care as an initial assessment tool and in planning postacute
care disposition (Schlegel et al., 2003; Schlegel, Tanne, Demchuk,
Levine, & Kasner, 2004).

Author*: Lisa Zeltzer, MSc OT;

Editors: Nicol Korner-Bitensky, PhD OT; Elissa Sitcoff, BA BSc

Evidence reviewed as of before 19-08-2008

NOTE: *The authors have no direct financial interest in any tools,
tests or interventions presented in StrokEngine.