At present many of the activities of daily living indices used in Australia lack essential characteristics of an index yielding desirable results. This study argues that the Barthel Index as modified by Shah, Vanclay and Cooper (1989a) is robust and has the required biometric and psychometric qualities. It presents evidence in support of the use of the Barthel Index as a preferred measure of the activities of daily living function to report therapeutically meaningful and valid information of patient care and stroke rehabilitation outcomes in Australia. It also presents the functional performance on the modified Barthel Index and the outcome of all 258 first stroke patients admitted for inpatient rehabilitation in Brisbane, Australia. Using the Barthel Index as a measure of activities of daily living functions, the study then compares the performances and outcomes of stroke patients between Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.