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Kohlman Evaluation of Living Skills (KELS)


KELS Description, Purpose, and Assessment

The name of the test is the Kohlman Evaluation of Living Skills (KELS). The KELS evaluates activities of daily living (ADL) performance areas (Hopkins & Smith, 1993).

The purpose of the KELS is to provide a non-standardized assessment of basic living skills. The KELS is not intended to be a comprehensive evaluation of basic living skills. Rather, the KELS is designed to provide a quick determination of the readiness of subjects in psychiatric environments to return to a community independent living status (Bruce & Borg, 1993).

The target population for the KELS is comprised of those individuals in psychiatric environments who are being considered for a return to independent living status within the community. Such environments may include geriatric, acute care, and rehabilitation settings. Subjects may range from the elderly through adolescents (Bruce & Borg, 1993).

The KELS involves a structured interview process with requirements for the performance of specified tasks. Performance skills and skill levels are determined within the context of age, culture, and biology (Hopkins & Smith, 1993).

The KELS assesses 18 basic living skills. These 18 skills are distributed into five evaluation categories. The categories and skills are as follows (Bruce & Borg, 1993):

Frequency of self-care activities performance

Awareness of dangerous household situations

Identification of appropriate actions for sickness and accidents

Knowledge of emergency telephone numbers

Knowledge of availability of medical and dental services

Use of money in purchasing activities

Obtaining and maintaining an income source

Obtaining and maintaining access to food stamps

Knowledge of services to provide community mobility

General knowledge of community transit system

Ability to use telephone directory and telephone


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Kohlman Evaluation of Living Skills (KELS). (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:13, February 21, 2017, from