Functional Ambulation Categories (FAC)


Functional Ambulation Categories Evaluation Summary

  What does the tool measure? It is a functional walking test that assesses ambulation status by determining how much human support the patient requires.
  What types of clients can the tool be used for? Clients with stroke, Multiple Sclerosis and Cerebral Palsy.
  Is this a screening or assessment tool? Assessment
Time to administer Approximately 1 to 5 minutes.
  Versions Also referred to as Functional Ambulation Classification.
There are no alternative versions.
Other Languages None reported.
Measurement Properties

One study examined the test-retest reliability of the FAC and found the test to have excellent test-retest reliability (k=.950).

Two studies examined the inter-rater reliability of the FAC and found the test to have poor to excellent inter-rater reliabilities (k=.36 and k=.905).


– One study examined the concurrent validity of the FAC and reported excellent correlations with Rivermead Mobility Index, 6 Minute Walk Test, walking velocity and stride length.

– One study examined the predictive validity of the FAC in patients with stroke and found it to be an adequate predictor of functional community ambulation 6 months after stroke.

  Does the tool detect change in patients? Earlier studies suggested that the FAC may lack responsiveness, especially if using it to distinguish between groups at lower levels of functioning (Teasdall et al., 2011), however, a recent study reported moderates to larges effect sizes when the FAC was used to evaluate change in ambulation over a period of 6-months (Mehrholz et al., 2007). Future research is required to determine the responsiveness of the FAC in assessing patients at various levels of functioning.
  Acceptability Administration of the FAC is simple, requiring only brief questioning and observation, thereby creating minimal patient burden.
Feasibility The FAC is quick and easy to use and the scale can be obtained at no cost. Also, there is no equipment that needs to accompany administration of the scale. No formal training is required to administer the FAC but the user should be familiar with the scale prior to its use.
How to obtain the tool? Please visit: