Background: We aimed to validate three widely used scales in stroke research in a multiethnic Brazilian population. Methods: The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), modified Rankin Scale (mRS) and Barthel Index (BI) were translated, culturally adapted and applied by two independent investigators. The mRS was applied with or without a previously validated structured interview. Interobserver agreement (kappa statistics) and intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated. Results: 84 patients underwent mRS (56 with and 28 without a structured interview), 57 BI and 62 NIHSS scoring. Intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.902 for NIHSS and 0.967 for BI. For BI, interobserver agreement was good (kappa = 0.70). For mRS, the structured interview improved interobserver agreement (kappa = 0.34 without a structured interview; 0.75 with a structured interview). Conclusion: The NIHSS, BI and mRS show good validity when translated and culturally adapted. Using a structured interview for the mRS improves interobserver concordance rates.
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