Stroke Impact Scale

Track Code: 

SIS is a copyrighted questionnaire for use in measuring and tracking progress of the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social aspects of stroke recovery in adults. Detailed instructions are provided for administration of the instrument, and a database tool is available for compiling and analyzing results. SIS-16 is a shorter, stand-alone instrument for evaluating physical aspects only.


The Stroke Impact Scale was developed at the University of Kansas Medical Center, based on feedback from patients and their caregivers. It measures the aspects of stroke recovery found to be important to patients and caregivers as well as stroke experts. SIS Version 2.0 consisted of 64 questions. After intensive psychometric testing, the 59-item SIS Version 3.0 was developed. More recently, the SIS-16 (a 16-item physical dimension instrument) was developed as a brief, stand-alone tool for measuring the physical aspects of stroke recovery.

How it works: 

The 59 questions of the SIS are broken down into eight domains: strength, hand function, mobility, activities of daily living, emotion, memory, communication, and social participation. Detailed instructions guide the interviewer in preparing and administering the questions to the patient. If the patient is unable to answer, the interviewer may administer the proxy version of the instrument to a caregiver or family member. The results may then be entered into a database, which computes a score in each domain and generates a patient-specific report.


The instrument functions as a measurement tool and, more importantly, as a method of tracking progress in stroke recovery. Repeated administration identifies changes in the health and quality of life of the patient, thus allowing a quantifiable measurement of the efficacy of provided therapies.

Why it is better: 

The assessment of outcomes in individuals after stroke is important for both clinical practice and research, yet there is no consensus on the best measures of stroke outcome. Existing measures have not been sensitive to change in mild strokes and some of the more commonly used measures assess only the physical aspects of stroke. The Stroke Impact Scale (SIS) assesses other dimensions of health related quality of life: emotion, communication, memory and thinking, and social role function. Because of the extensive research and clinical testing behind its development, SIS is uniquely positioned to provide useful, reliable data in both clinical and research settings.

Licensing Associate: 
Shantanu Balkundi, PhD·· 785-864-6397
Pamela Duncan
Dennis Wallace
Sue Lai
Stephanie Studenski
Susan Embretson
Louise Laster