Objective: To determine whether specifically designed activities of daily living (ADL) observations can measure disability due to apraxia with more sensitivity than the Barthel ADL Index, a conventional functional scale. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Rehabilitation centres and nursing homes. Subjects: One hundred and six left hemisphere stroke patients with apraxia, hospitalized in rehabilitation centres and nursing homes. Measures: ADL observations, Barthel ADL Index, an apraxia test, Motricity Index, Functional Motor Test. Results: Multivariate analyses showed that the specific ADL observations were associated with severity of apraxia (and not with motor impairments). The Barthel ADL Index was associated with motor impairments (and not with severity of apraxia. Conclusion: The assessment of disability in stroke patients with apraxia cannot rely only on the Barthel ADL Index. In addition, the specific ADL observation procedure is needed to measure disability due to apraxia.