Motor Assessment Scale (MAS)

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The Motor Assessment Scale (MAS) is a performance-based scale that was developed as a means of assessing everyday motor function in patients with stroke (Carr, Shepherd, Nordholm, & Lynne, 1985). 

Features of the measure


The MAS is comprised of 8 items corresponding to 8 areas of motor function.

  • Supine to side lying
  • Supine to sitting over the edge of a bed
  • Balanced sitting
  • Sitting to standing
  • Walking
  • Upper-arm function
  • Hand movements
  • Advanced hand activities.

Patients perform each task 3 times and the best performance is recorded.

Also included is a single item, general tonus, intended to provide an estimate of muscle tone on the affected side (Carr et al., 1985).


Although a number of items are required to administer the MAS, the equipment is easy to acquire. The following equipment is needed:

  • Stopwatch
  • Eight Jellybeans
  • Polystyrene cup
  • Stool
  • Rubber ball
  • Comb
  • Spoon
  • Pen
  • Two Teacups
  • Water
  • Prepared sheet for drawing lines
  • Cylindrical object like a jar
  • Table


  • All items are assessed using a 7-point scale from 0 – 6. A score of 6 indicates optimal motor behavior. Item scores can be summed to provide an overall score out of a possible 48 points.
  • For MAS 1 to 5, completing a higher-level item suggests successful performance on lower-level items and thus lower-items can be skipped.
  • The upper limb section (MAS 6-8) should be scored non-hierarchical, meaning that every item within the subsets should be scored regardless of its position within the hierarchy.
  • Administration times ranging from 15 to 60 minutes.

Use the following EVALUATION FORM to evaluate your patient and PRINT THE FORM when the evaluation is completed.


  • Carr, J. H., Shepherd, R. B., Nordholm, L., Lynne, D. (1985). Investigation of a new motor assessment scale for stroke patients. Phys Ther, 65, 175-180.
  • Dean, C. M., Mackey, F. M. (1992). Motor assessment scale scores as a measure of rehabilitation outcome following stroke. Aust J Physiother, 38, 31-35.
  • English, C. K., Hillier, S. L. (2006). The sensitivity of three commonly used outcome measures to detect change amongst patients receiving inpatient rehabilitation following stroke. Clinical Rehabilitation, 20, 52-55.
  • Hsueh, I-P., Hsieh, C-L. (2002).Responsiveness of two upper extremity function instruments for stroke inpatients receiving rehabilitation. Clinical Rehabilitation, 16(6), 617-624.

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