Performance status

Performance status is a measure of how well you are functioning. It is measured using one of two scales. Your doctor will use one of these scales as a rough guide to whether you will be able to tolerate chemotherapy or whether you can be placed in a clinical trial.

Some doctors use a 1 to 100 scale, where 100 indicates that a person is functioning at his or her absolute best, with no limitations or other health problems.

Other doctors use a scale of 0 to 4 where:

  • 0: Fully active, able to carry on all activities.
  • 1: Able to carry out most activities. Restrictions apply to physically strenuous activity.
  • 2: Active and able to care for self. Unable to perform work activity. Up and about at least 50% of waking hours.
  • 3:Capable of only limited self-care. Confined to a bed or chair at least 50% of waking hours.
  • 4: Cannot care for self. Confined to a bed or chair.

When referring to clinical trials that use a new therapy or different doses of chemotherapy than normal, it is important to note the performance status of the participants in the study. If their performance status is 0 or 1, the information from that study may not be reasonable to apply to someone with a performance status of 2, 3, or 4.

Last Updated: October 30, 2009

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