Content » Vol 32, Issue 1

Original report

Simple assessment of outcome after acute brain injury using the Glasgow Outcome Scale

Hellawell DJ, Signorini DF, Pentland B.
Rehabilitation Studies Unit, Astley Ainslie Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
DOI: 10.1080/165019772000322527


To evaluate alternative methods of determining Glasgow Outcome Scale scores, a postal survey was made of 288 general practitioners and 128 relatives of patients who had sustained acute brain injuries 5-7 years previously. The Glasgow Outcome Scale score from the general practitioner and relative were compared with that calculated from questionnaire information by an experienced rater. There was poor agreement between general practitioner and rater (K = 0.17) and relative and rater (K = 0.35) scores. Both general practitioners and relatives indicated more favourable outcomes than the rater, with a higher level of agreement (K = 0.61) between them. When Glasgow Outcome Scale scores are used, the methods employed should be valid and reliable; failure to ensure this may be responsible for a considerable proportion of variability in reported studies of brain injury outcome.

Lay Abstract


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