Functional Ability Scale

Use this guidance sheet to help you describe and measure how much you can do. If you are someone whose symptoms vary a lot, you may want to make a note of where you are on a good day, as well as where you are on a bad day.

The scale will help you to see how you are doing, and to better understand yourself. Remember, though, if you push yourself too hard, it can take many days to recover afterwards.

There are times when you will stay at the same level, and times when you may go up and down on the scale – sometimes slowly, and sometimes in a jump. But over time, with careful support and management, good management should help you to see what improvements you've been able to achieve.

It's important not to be too disappointed if you see a drop – or too over-excited if you see an improvement! ME/CFS is a condition that does vary over time, and so you should not judge your recovery based on daily or even weekly changes. It's the long-term pattern that matters.

Functional Ability Scale

Things to remember about the Functional Ability Scale

  • This is a tool – not an exact guide!
    If you are at 50%, for example, this does not mean you can only walk half the distance of a healthy person.
  • You may be in a different place physically to where you are mentally on the scale - many people fall between two categories.
  • Part time means a few hours – only you will know how much is right for you.
  • There is no predictable pattern to ME/CFS - ups and downs will happen, even over short periods of time.