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Statistical composite that measures changes in the economy or in financial markets, often expressed in percentage changes from a base year or from the previous month. Indexes measure the ups and downs of stock, bond, and some commodities markets, in terms of market prices and weighting of companies in the index.


A statistical measure of the value of a certain portfolio of securities. The portfolio may be for a certain class of security, a certain industry, or may include the most important securities in a given market, among other options. The value of an index increases when the aggregate value of the underlying securities increases, and decreases when the aggregate value decreases. An index may track stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and any other security or investment vehicle, including other indices. An index's value may be weighted; for example, securities with higher prices or greater market capitalization may affect the index's value more than others. One of the most prominent examples of an index is the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which is weighted for price and tracks 30 stocks important in American markets.


The relative value of a variable in comparison with itself on a different date. Many security price indicators such as the Standard & Poor's series and the New York Stock Exchange series are constructed as indexes. Also called stock index. See also base period.


To adjust a variable by a selected measure of relative value. For example, it has been proposed that an investor's basis on a security be indexed for changes in consumer prices so that only real increases in value will be taxed. Also called tax indexing. See also subindex.


An index reports changes up or down, usually expressed as points and as a percentage, in a specific financial market, in a number of related markets, or in an economy as a whole.

Each index -- and there are a large number of them -- measures the market or economy it tracks from a specific starting point. That point might be as recent as the previous day or many years in the past.

For those reasons, indexes are often used as performance benchmarks against which to measure the return of investments that resemble those tracked by the index.

A market index may be calculated arithmetically or geometrically. That's one reason two indexes tracking similar markets may report different results. Further, some indexes are weighted and others are not.

Weighting means giving more significance to some elements in the index than to others. For example, a market capitalization weighted index is more influenced by price changes in the stock of its largest companies than by price changes in the stock of its smaller companies.


(1) A statistical indicator that measures changes in the economy in general or in particular areas.An example is the cost-of-living index.(2) A reference point against which measurements are taken for purposes of making future adjustments.An adjustable-rate mortgage might begin with an interest rate of 6 percent and provide that it will increase or decrease in a like percentage as the increase or decrease between today's quoted price for 10-year U.S.Treasury bonds and the price on the loan's annual anniversary date.We would say that 10-year T-bonds are the index.

Some leading loan indices include

• Wall Street Journal prime
• Federal discount rate
• Fed funds rate
• 11th District Cost of Funds
• 10-year Treasuries
• One-year LIBOR

References in periodicals archive ?
Age, weight, height, BMI, and Barthel index scores stratified by gender are shown in Fig.
In this study, this factor was significantly correlated with Barthel index and MMSE, differently from Converso and Lartelli (2007) who found that the age had no influence on the cognitive status.
Mahoney FI, Barthel D (1965): Functional evaluation: The Barthel Index.
Activities of daily living measured with Barthel index (BI) after the scheduled treatment was significantly improved in both groups (p < 0.
The ICP used in the Unit was evaluated by comparison of Barthel Index Scores (BIS) at admission, discharge and at a three-month post-discharge review.
Main outcome measures: complications of PEG, length of survival, duration of PEG feeding, recovery of swallow and modified Barthel index score.
The Barthel Index uses a total of 100 points across 10 dimensions.
The Barthel Index and prefracture or prestroke maximum walking distance score measure functional status.
The primary outcome analysis of this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 394 patients was improvement in the Barthel Index, a 100 point rating scale of functional capabilities in neurological patients, at a time point three months after an ischemic stroke.
The study will also assess the defined Excellent Outcome (mRS less than or equal to 1, NIHSS less -than or equal to 1, and Barthel Index greater-than or equal to 95) at three months and one year as key secondary endpoints.
The study will also assess the defined Excellent Outcome (mRS less than or equal to 1, NIHSS less-than or equal to 1, and Barthel Index greater-than or equal to 95) at three months and one year as key secondary endpoints.
Strongly positive results were also seen in the other endpoints of the study, with seven patients (33 percent) showing a clinically relevant improvement on the Modified Rankin Scale (a measure of disability and dependence) and eight patients (38 percent) showing a clinically relevant improvement on the Barthel Index (a measure of performance in activities of daily living).