4 physical assessment measures used at RoboFit

Our clients come to us with a wide range of goals, from dancing at weddings to being able to perform transfers independently. As therapists, we take our client’s goals and break them down into their components and translate them into numbers and assessments.

RoboFit therapists use a variety of assessment tools to be able to set realistic goals, and make sure improvements are measurable and celebrated. Here’s a brief snapshot of 4 common assessment measure we use at RoboFit.

  1. Neuromuscular Recovery Scale (NRS) The NRS is an objective assessment tool developed by the Christopher Reeves Foundation that is specific to spinal cord injury. It classes patients into a number from 1 – 4, and letter A to C, with 1A being least functional and 4A being most, based on how they execute tasks without compensation. Our client improved his score from 3B to 3C, which doesn’t sound like much, but seated and standing measures improved significantly.
  2. 6 Minute Walk Test (6MWT) As the name suggests, measures the distance walked in 6 minutes. It tells therapists how much endurance the client has and is very accurate to test and retest. Our client walked 61m in 6 mins in March, which improved to 153m in June. This measure is also valuable as it allows clients to reach certain cut offs – our client reached the minimum distance for community ambulation, and we can’t wait to get them reaching the same number with Canadian crutches.
  3. 10 Metre Walk Test (10MWT) Our 10 Metre Walk test is very similar but focuses more on efficiency and speed. It measures the time the client takes to walk 10 metres, and our client decreased his initial score of 46s down to 9 seconds in his block of training.
  4. Lastly, the Modified Rivermead Mobility Index is a physical assessment of functional tasks such as bed mobility, standing and walking. A higher score is better.


Being able to track improvements objectively is a very important part of working with people, and it shows us whether our treatment is working or not.

Below is the before and after of a client who undertook completed 4 RoboFit sessions a week across a 5 week period.

Assessment March 2022 June 2022
61m with forearm support frame and supervision
153m with forearm support frame, nil supervision
46.59s (42 steps) with forearm support frame and supervision
9.77s (16 steps) with forearm support frame, nil supervision
Sit = 3B Reverse sit up = 3A Sit up = 3C Trunk extension in sit = 4B Sit to Stand = 2A Stand = 2A Walk = 2C Overall = 3A
Sit = 3C Reverse sit up = 3B Sit up = 4A Trunk extension in sit = 4C Sit to Stand = 3C Stand = 3B Walk = 2C Overall = 3B
Modified Rivermead

While the numbers look impressive, all trending towards improvement, the real impact of the improvement is plain to see.

From a baseline ability to stand independently for less than a minute, to post intervention standing indefinitely without assistance. Likewise, from previously being mobile with a manual wheelchair, to walking assisted by a frame and assisted use of Canadian crutches.

Post intervention this client was able to walk upstairs using a single crutch and handrail, to have a lovely meal with friends at a restaurant. Next on their goals list is the independent use of crutches over longer distances.

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