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  • SMAF (Functional Autonomy Measuring System) developed in 1983 by Réjean Hébert, researcher and physician.
  • Adopted by the Ministry of Health (Quebec) since 2002
  • Includes 29 items designed to assess 5 major dimensions of autonomy
  • Continued development by research teams
  • Scientifically validated for its reliability and accuracy
  • Appreciated by care and personal assistance professionals for 25 years
  • Contributes to the improvement of the quality of services and the efficient use of available resources

The SMAF has been developed to enhance functional autonomy while taking into account the environment of the individual (in establishments or at home), available resources (human and material) and their stability. For each item, the grid helps identify if resources are put into place to compensate for the disability, the type of resources and their stability in the 3 to 4 weeks following the assessment. A handicap score can thus be established depending on the presence or absence of adequate resources.


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The SMAF grid evaluates 29 activities grouped into 5 dimensions of functional autonomy:

    • Activities of daily living (ADL) [7 items]
    • Mobility [6 items]
    • Communication [3 items]
    • Mental functions [5 items]
    • Home living activities (HLA) [8 items]


  • It is based on a recognized theoretical framework
  • It is easy to use
  • It can be used by all healthcare professionals
  • It can be used in all living environments
  • It is not restricted to a particular type of pathology
  • It is suitable for the evaluation of all adults with a loss of autonomy

Since it is computerized, the SMAF can follow the evolution of a situation and get a visual summary of the disabilities and of the required level of assistance. Moreover, the classification in Iso-SMAF profiles is established from all items of the SMAF, not only from a few variables.

In Quebec, the SMAF is included in the Multiclientele Assessment Tool (MCAT) and is used in all settings of the health and social services network:

  • Acute care hospital, rehabilitation unit
  • Day Care Centre
  • Intermediate Residence
  • Residence offering services
  • Nursing Home and Long Term Care
  • Homecare Support


  • Evaluates the actual functional capabilities of the patient
  • Targets the needs of individuals by putting them at the center of the staff’s concerns
  • Brings together health care professionals around the person and his/her needs
  • Allows better planning of services
  • Promotes an efficient use of human, material and financial resources
  • Improves the quality of services rendered to the individual
  • Enhances objectivity by reducing biases associated with the relational aspect

The high standing of the SMAF is based on numerous scientific investigations, making it a reliable, complete and easy to use as an assessment instrument.



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Did you know that...

In Quebec, more than 12 300 professionals were trained on the SMAF and use it on a daily basis.