a thin flake or compacted platelike body, as of cornified epithelial cells. See also squama
2. a scheme or device by which some property may be measured (as hardness, weight, linear dimension).
3. to remove incrustations or other material from a surface, as from the enamel of teeth.
(absolute temperature scale
1. one with its zero at absolute zero (−273.15°C, −459.67°F).
a descriptive tool developed by the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) as a part of the complete classification of patients with spinal cord injuries. Called also Frankel Classification
. See accompanying table.
Bayley S's of Infant Development a psychological test for assessing development of infants, using motor, mental, and behavioral developmental scales.
a numerical scale for assessing dyspnea
, from 0 representing no dyspnea to 10 as maximal dyspnea.
Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment scale a behavioral assessment scale used to evaluate the interactive behavior of a newborn by its responses to environmental stimuli.
Celsius scale (C) a temperature scale with zero at the freezing point of water and the normal boiling point of water at 100 degrees. The abbreviation 100°C should be read “one hundred degrees Celsius.” (For equivalents of Celsius and Fahrenheit temperatures, see Appendix.)
one with 100 gradations or steps between two fixed points, as the Celsius scale
Fahrenheit scale (F) a temperature scale with the freezing point of water at 32 degrees and the normal boiling point of water at 212 degrees. The abbreviation 100°F should be read “one hundred degrees Fahrenheit.” (For equivalents of Fahrenheit and Celsius temperatures, see Appendix.)
one used for denoting the size of catheters, sounds, and other tubular instruments, each French unit (symbol F
) being approximately 0.33 mm in diameter.
Glasgow Coma scale a standardized system for assessing response to stimuli in a neurologically impaired patient, assessing eye opening, verbal response, and motor ability. Reaction scores are depicted in numerical values, thus minimizing the problem of ambiguous and vague terms to describe the patient's neurologic status. (See accompanying Table.) The total score is obtained by adding E, M, and V; a score of 7 or less indicates coma and a score of 9 or more rules out coma.
Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale a hundred-point scale used as axis V of DSM-IV to assess a client's recent and current levels of social, psychological, and occupational functioning.
a representation of intensities in shades of gray, as in gray-scale ultrasonography
interval scale a scale having equal numerical distances between intervals in addition to mutually exclusive categories, exhaustive categories, and rank ordering but no zero point.
(Karnofsky performance scale
) a widely used performance scale
, assigning scores ranging from 0 for a nonfunctional or dead patient to 100 for one with completely normal functioning.
an absolute scale in which the unit of measurement, the kelvin
, corresponds to that of the Celsius scale
; therefore the ice point is at 273.15 kelvins.
Likert scale a tool used to determine opinions or attitudes; it contains a list of declarative statements, each followed by a scale on which the subject is to indicate degrees of intensity of a given feeling.
Neonatal Behavior Assessment scale Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale.
a scale that measures a patient's performance status
, serving as a prognostic indicator of seriousness of disease or disability. The most widely used scale is the Karnofsky scale
semantic differential scale a measurement device that consists of two opposite adjectives with a seven-point scale between them; each item under examination is assigned to a specific point on the scale.
temperature scale one for expressing degree of heat, based on absolute zero as a reference point, or with a certain value arbitrarily assigned to such temperatures as the ice point and boiling point of water.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
1 scale (skal) [L. scala, staircase]
1. A graduated or proportioned measure.
2. A tool that rates people, places, or things in relation to one another.
A scale used for indicating low temperatures based on absolute zero. It is used in thermodynamic calculations of, for example, heat/energy transfer. Synonym: Kelvin scale See: absolute temperature; absolute zero
Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale Abbreviation: ABC
A 16-item instrument designed to measure a patient’s perceived level of confidence in performing common ADLs without losing balance and falling. The patient ranks his confidence to complete each item from 0% (no confidence) to 100% (complete confidence).
ASIA Impairment Scale
A method of assessing the degree of motor and sensory impairment in spinal cord injured patients. The assessment is based on an examination of the perineum and anus, i.e., on the S4-S5 level of the spinal cord. Grade: A – Complete: No motor or sensory function; Grade B – Incomplete, sensory function is intact, but motor function is absent below and including the S4-S5 level; Grade C – Incomplete, motor function is preserved below the neurological level and more than half of the primary muscles have a muscle grade test of less than 3; Grade D – Incomplete: Motor function is preserved and at least half of the muscles below the S4-S5 level have a muscle grade test of 3 or better; and Grade E – Normal.
Borg dyspnea scale See: Borg dyspnea scale
Braden scale See: Braden scale
Brazelton Neonatal Assessment Scale See: Brazelton Neonatal Assessment Scale
Celsius scale See: Celsius, Anders
Celsius scale. See: Celsius, Anders
Clinical Linguistic and Auditory Milestone Scale Abbreviation: CLAMS
An office test used to evaluate language development in children from birth to age 3. See: Denver Developmental Screening Test
scale of contrast
The range of densities on a radiograph; the number of tonal grays that are visible.
Disability Rating Scale
An instrument to gauge the functional capabilities and progress of a person with moderate to severe brain injury. A person who has no deficits after recovery from brain injury receives a score of 0 (not impaired). A severely impaired person who is unemployable, unable to care for himself, and unable to open his eyes, move, or speak receives the lowest score: 29.
Fahrenheit scale See: Fahrenheit, Daniel Gabriel
Falls Efficacy Scale, falls efficacy scale Abbreviation: FES
A questionnaire to assess the level of confidence that patients have in performing activities of daily living without fear of falling.
A system to indicate the diameter of catheters and sounds. Each unit on the scale is approximately equivalent to one-third mm; thus a 21 French sound is 7 mm in diameter. The size of the diameter of the catheter increases as the numerical value of French increases.
Geriatric Depression Scale Abbreviation: GDS
A 30-item questionnaire to screen for depression in older adults, e.g., when they first become eligible for Medicare.
Glasgow Coma Scale Abbreviation: GCS
A scale to determine a patient's level of consciousness. It is a rating from 3 to 15 of the patient's ability to open his eyes, respond verbally, and move normally. The GCS is used primarily during the examination of patients with trauma or stroke. Repeated examinations can help determine if the patient's brain function is improving or deteriorating. Many EMS systems use the GCS for triage purposes and for determining which patients should be intubated in the field. See: tablecoma; Trauma Score
Glasgow Outcome Scale
A scale that assesses current neurological awareness of the environment, and recovery and disability in all types of brain injury. The scale is to be used during the evaluation of trauma, stupor, or coma, and at prescribed time intervals, such as 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year after injury. The Glasgow group reports the greatest recovery in the 6-month period after injury. The nurse (or other health care practitioner) notes the patient's abilities at a particular time using this practical scale: Good outcome: may have minimal disabling sequelae but returns to independent functioning comparable to preinjury level and a full-time job; Moderate disability: is capable of independent functioning but not of returning to full-time employment; Moderate disability: is capable of independent functioning but not of returning to full-time employment; Severe disability: depends on others for some aspect of daily living; Persistive vegetative state: has no obvious cortical functioning; Dead.
Global Assessment of Functioning Scale Abbreviation: GAF scale
A scale that rates a person's social, occupational, and psychological functioning. The scale rates from high functioning, (i.e., highly adapted and integrated to one's environment) to poorly functioning (i.e., self-destructive, homicidal, isolated, or lacking the rudiments of self-care). There is a children’s version of the scale, called the Children’s Global Assessment of Functioning (CGAF).
Global Assessment of Relational Functioning Scale Abbreviation: GARF scale
A measure of the degree to which a family meets the emotional and functional needs of its members.
hydrogen ion scale
A scale used to express the degree of acidity or alkalinity of a solution. The classic pH scale extends from 0.00 (total acidity) to 14 (total alkalinity), the numbers running in inverse order of hydrogen ion (pH) concentration. The pH value is the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion (pH) concentration of a solution, expressed in moles per liter.
As the hydrogen ion concentration decreases, a change of 1 pH unit means a 10-fold decrease in hydrogen ion concentration. Thus a solution with a pH of 1.0 is 10 times more acid than one with a pH of 2.0 and 100 times more acid than one with a pH of 3.0. A pH of 7.0 indicates neutrality. Very concentrated (> 1molar) mineral acids and bases go beyond the classic scale to values < 0.00 and > 14, respectively.
As the hydrogen ion concentration varies in a definite reciprocal manner with the hydroxyl ion (OH-) concentration, a pH reading above 7.0 indicates alkalinity. In the human body, arterial blood is slightly alkaline, having a normal pH range of 7.35 to 7.45.
Karnofsky ScaleKarnofsky Index.
Kelvin scale See: Kelvin, Lord
Klein-Bell ADL Scale See: Klein-Bell ADL Scale
Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale See: Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale
Morse Falls Scale See: Morse Falls Scale
Motor Assessment Scale
An eight-item measurement tool used to assess motor function and physical mobility after a stroke.
Norton scale See: Norton scale
Nottingham Extended Activities of Daily Living Scale
A widely used European scale of a person's activities of daily living that measures mobility and the ability to function in domestic tasks, kitchen tasks, and leisure activities. See: instrumental activities of daily living
Oswestry Disability ScaleOswestry Disability Index.
An assessment tool used to measure the intensity of a patient's discomfort. See: Numerical Rating Scale; visual analog scale
Norton scale See: Norton scale
Numerical Rating Scale, Numeric Rating Scale. Abbreviation: NRS
A variation of the visual analog scale that uses a scalar numbering system to objectify a patient’s pain. Most numeric rating scales use a 10-cm line with tick marks spaced 1 cm apart. The leftmost mark is labeled “0” and has the notation “No Pain.” The rightmost mark is labeled “10” and the notation “Worst pain imaginable.” The patient is asked to indicate where on the continuum he or she would rate the current intensity of pain.
resource-based relative value scale Abbreviation: RBRVS
A scale for determining the monetary value of evaluation and management services provided to patients, i.e., services provided to patients by nonsurgeons. The scale is based on the total work required for a given service and on other considerations, including the cost of the physician's practice, the income lost during training, and the relative cost of liability insurance. See: managed care; managed competition
Stroke Impact Scale
An instrument to measure the effect of a stroke on a person's mobility, speech, social activities, manual dexterity, strength, emotions, memory, and daily activities.
Vancouver scar scaleBurn scar index.
visual analog scale
An instrument used to quantify a subjective experience, such as the intensity of pain. A commonly used visual analog scale is a 10-cm line labeled with “worst pain imaginable” on the right border and “no pain” on the left border. The patient is instructed to make a mark along the line to represent the intensity of pain currently being experienced. The clinician records the distance of the mark in centimeters from the left end of the scale.
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale See: Wechsler, David
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children See: Wechsler, David
Zubrod performance scale See: Zubrod performance scale
|Eye opening||spontaneously ||4|
|Motor response||obeys commands||6|
|localizes to pain||5|
|withdraws from pain||4|
|flexion to pain||3|
|extension to pain||2|
2 scale (skal) [Fr. escale, husk]
1. A small dry flake, shed from the upper layers of skin. Some shedding of skin is normal; scale increases in diseases like pityriasis rosea, psoriasis, and tinea pedis and after scratching the skin. See: illustration
2. A film of tartar encrusting the teeth.
3. To remove a film of tartar from the teeth.
4. To form a scale on.
5. To shed scales.illustration
3 scale (skal) [Old Norse skál, bowl]
An instrument for weighing.
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