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9 Universal Functional Outcome Measures

Let’s discuss the “9 Universal Functional Outcome Measures“. These measures are standards recognized by the medical community and are well known in the fitness industry. If you want to validate the incorporation of medical exercise training into the medical management process, as a Post Rehab Conditioning Specialist and/or Medical Exercise Specialist, you must base client outcomes on these universally accepted 9 Functional Outcome Measures.

The 9 Universal Functional Outcome Measures, are:
    1. A1c – glycosylated hemoglobin (usually performed quarterly) used to measure long-term management of diabetes.
    2. Functional Assessment Scales – including Tinetti, Harris Hip Scale, etc. are used to manage functional outcomes for a wide range of conditions.
    3. Pain Scale – a simple 1 – 10 scale used to quantify the client’s pain response with functional activities.
    4. Blood Pressure – measuring blood pressure (BP) must become one of standards of practice
      and an essential skill every medical fitness professional must demonstrate proficiency.
    5. Cholesterol Level – these levels are used as an outcome measure for a number of cardiovascular or metabolic disorders.
    6. Anthropometric Measures– these may include body fat, body weight or BMI..which ever is best for the condition and/or client.
    7. VO2max – most fitness and/or rehab facilities will not have the equipment or staff to determine the client’s specific VO2Max but there are several procedures that allow a reasonable estimate using basic fitness equipment.
    8. Bone Density – with the high incidence of osteoporosis and the obvious use of exercise in managing this condition, bone density is an important measure for exercise outcomes.
    9. Strength, ROM and Stability– these standard fitness measures are accepted by the medical community and fitness industry.
Since these measures are understood by the fitness and medical communities, they are considered universal. Here’s the question you must ask yourself:
What are the five most common conditions you manage in your practice?
Once you answer this question, based on these universal measures, you can determine what outcomes you are producing with your clients, and how many sessions are necessary to see a minimum of a 10 – 20% improvement. Providing this information to a physician or other medical professionals will build their confidence in you, and will help you establish benchmarks and guidelines for your clients.
Creating confidence with medical professionals, starts the validation process Medical Exercise Services are needed, relevant, and an effective outcome-based component of a client’s medical management plan. If the exercise programs you create do not support positive functional outcomes, then why do use them?
Please join us on Facebook and share with the 5 medical conditions you manage most frequently, and the outcome measure(s) you use to determine if your MET programs are effective.
Share your five on our Facebook Page at
Medical Exercise Training Institute
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