The HFME 3 Part M.E. ability and severity scale PART 3 – SYMPTOM SEVERITY SCALE

How can the ability scale help me?

Often when we’re at the doctor’s office or other important (like really important!) medical appointments, the overwhelming feelings of travelling, noise, lights, the exhaustion, the anxiety can all become too much, and if you’re like me, then your brain might just completely implode at that moment and you’re completely unable to express how your illness is affecting YOU.

This is part 3 in a series of 3 in how you can explain your illness to your doctor by using an ability scale.

Part 3. Symptom severity scale

The HFME 3 Part M.E. ability & severity scale
PART 3 – SYMPTOM SEVERITY SCALE

Copyright Jodi Bassett 2005 to 2010. Taken from www.hfme.org

Note that symptom severity on a scale of one to ten means:

Mild Symptoms = 1 to 3. Symptoms present but at so low a level one can forget they are there most of the time.

Mild/moderate symptoms = 4 to 5

Moderate symptoms = 6 to 7

Very Severe Symptoms = 8

Severe Symptoms = 9

Extremely severe symptoms = 10. Totally non-functional and also possibly crying out or moaning uncontrollably and/or being near delirium. Completely overwhelmed with pain and suffering. The face muscles may be slack, the body partly or completely paralysed, and thinking or communicating may be impossible. As far as the patient is concerned, being eaten alive by a tiger could not hurt any more, or feel any worse. Absolute agony.
FULLY RECOVERED
0/10 No symptoms.
VIRTUALLY RECOVERED
1/10 No symptoms at rest. Mild symptoms on occasion following strenuous physical or mental activity but recovery is complete by the next day.
MILDLY AFFECTED
2/10

         Mild symptoms (1 to 3) for several hours or days following strenuous physical or mental activity.

 
3/10 Mild symptoms (1 to 3) at rest, worsened to mild/moderate (4 or 5) for several hours or days following strenuous physical or mental activity beyond the person’s limits.
MODERATELY AFFECTED
4/10 Mild – mild/moderate symptoms (1 to 5) at rest, worsened to moderate (6 or 7) for several hours or days following physical or mental activity beyond the person’s limits.
 
5/10 Mild/moderate symptoms (4 or 5) at rest, consisting of mild/moderate pain and/or sensations of illness/dysfunction throughout the body and brain for some parts of the day, with increasing moderate symptoms (6 or 7) for several hours, days or weeks (or longer) following physical or mental activity beyond the person’s limits.
MODERATELY TO SEVERELY AFFECTED
6/10 Moderate symptoms (6 or 7) at rest with moderate pain and/or sensations of illness/dysfunction throughout the body and brain for significant periods of the day; increasing moderate (and occasionally severe – level 8) symptoms for several hours, days or weeks or months (or longer) following physical or mental activity beyond the persons limits.
 
7/10 Moderate (6 or 7) and occasionally severe (8) symptoms at rest. There is moderate pain (6 or 7) and/or sensations of illness/dysfunction throughout the body and brain for significant periods of the day, increasing to moderate and sometimes severe symptoms for several hours, days, weeks or months (or longer) afterward.
SEVERELY AFFECTED
8/10 Moderate to severe symptoms (6–8) at rest. There is moderate to severe pain (6–8) and/or sensations of illness/dysfunction throughout the body and brain for much of the day. Symptoms are severe (8) following any physical or mental activity with a recovery period as low as hours, or as long as days to months, or longer. It is all the person can do to just get through one day at a time.
 
8.5/10 Severe symptoms (8) at rest and following even trivial physical or mental activity with a recovery period of hours or days, or as much as several weeks or months or longer. There is severe pain (8) and/or overwhelming sensations of illness/dysfunction throughout the body and brain for all but a few hours of the day. In some patients only small amounts of stimuli can be tolerated, and only for short periods of time. It is all the person can do to just get through the day a few hours at a time.
VERY SEVERELY AFFECTED
9/10 There is severe pain (8) and/or overwhelming sensations of illness/dysfunction throughout the body and brain for all but a few short periods in the day, increasing to severe or very severe symptoms (8 or 9) following even trivial physical or mental activity with a recovery period of hours days, weeks, months or longer. In some patients only small amounts of stimuli can be tolerated for short periods. It is all the person can do to just get through the day one hour at a time.
 
9.5/10 There is severe pain (8) and/or overwhelming sensations of illness/dysfunction throughout the body and brain almost continually, worsening to very severe (9) or extremely severe (10) following even trivial physical or mental activity with a recovery period of hours, days, weeks or months or longer. In some patients any type of stimulus is intolerable; even very low levels of light, noise, movement or motion are excruciating for more than very short periods. The smallest physical movements bring extreme exacerbations in symptoms. Intellectual activity is similarly affected. It is all the person can do to just get through the day one minute at a time.

PROFOUNDLY SEVERELY AFFECTED

10/10 There is very severe (9) pain and/or overwhelming sensations of illness/dysfunction throughout the body and brain continually, worsening to extremely severe (10) by even trivial physical or mental activity with a recovery period of hours, days, several weeks or months or longer. In some patients any type of stimulus is intolerable; even very short/low exposures to light, noise, movement and motion are excruciating and may require a long recovery period. The smallest physical movement brings intense exacerbations in symptoms. Mental activity is similarly affected. It is all the person can do to just get through the day one minute or one second at a time.

 

SOURCE (http://www.hfme.org/themeabilityscale.htm)

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