New scale predicts recovery of consciousness from coma after brain injury

March 09, 2005

CHICAGO --- A Northwestern University researcher has developed the first truly reliable measure of neurobehavioral functioning during coma from severe brain injury that predicts recovery of consciousness up to one year after injury, with up to 86 percent certainty. Theresa Louise-Bender Pape, assistant research professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and her colleagues described the measure, called Disorders of Consciousness Scale© (DOCS) in a two-part series in the January/February 2005 issue of the Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development.

Using the DOCS, the researchers evaluated military veterans and civilians over age 18 years who were unconscious after a severe brain injury. The test stimuli were organized into eight subscales, including social knowledge; taste and swallowing; olfactory; proprioceptive (perception of one's body in space) and vestibular (balance); auditory; visual; tactile; and testing-readiness. The investigators found that DOCS accurately detected improvements, declines and plateaus in neurobehavioral functioning in unconscious patients.

The study also showed how repeated measures using DOCS improved medical and rehabilitation management during coma recovery. The investigators found previously undetected secondary medical complications, which were successfully treated.

Pape is also researcher at the Edward Hines, Jr., Veterans Administration Hospital, Hines, Ill., and at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, Wheaton, Ill. Investigators from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago collaborated on the research.

The study was based on work supported by grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration; the Midwest Center for Health Services and Policy Research; and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
-end-
KEYWORDS: Disorders of Consciousness Scale, DOCS, brain injury, coma, rehabilitation

Northwestern University

Related Rehabilitation Articles from Brightsurf:

Simple measurement could transform injury rehabilitation
Researchers from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia have found a simple way to analyse the effectiveness of exercise training that could one day be conducted easily at a local gym or physio.

Vocational rehabilitation helps lift people with disabilities out of poverty
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits do not always keep individuals with disabilities out of poverty.

Study examines the benefits of virtual stroke rehabilitation programs
While virtual medical and rehabilitation appointments seemed novel when COVID-19 first appeared, they now seem to be part of the new norm and might be paving the way to the future.

How rehabilitation impacts research and care of patients with cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy (CP) is one of the most common developmental movement disorders in children.

Smartphone accelerometers could help in resistance workouts and rehabilitation protocols
Smartphone accelerometers are effective tools to measure key time-under-tension indicators of muscle training -- and could help in resistance-based workouts and rehabilitation protocols.

Many children in intensive care may not be getting rehabilitation therapy, study shows
Adult patients in hospital intensive care units (ICUs) are often given rehabilitation therapy and urged to keep mobile from an early point in their hospital stays.

Movement study could be significant in helping understand brain rehabilitation
Researchers from the University of Plymouth (UK) and Technical University of Munich (Germany) say their study could be particularly important for those working in rehabilitation and helping people to recover after neurological conditions.

Only 1 in 4 Medicare patients participate in cardiac rehabilitation
Only about 24% of Medicare patients who could receive outpatient cardiac rehabilitation participate in the program.

A conversation could be the answer to successful rehabilitation of prisoners
Researchers have found people on the brink of release from a prison sentence have lost any sense of being connected to the outside world and, as a result, become prejudiced towards wider society.

An artificial skin that can help rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality
EPFL scientists have developed a soft artificial skin that provides haptic feedback and -- thanks to a sophisticated self-sensing mechanism -- has the potential to instantaneously adapt to a wearer's movements.

Read More: Rehabilitation News and Rehabilitation Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.