Finding a clinical assessment scale - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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Subject of the scale: Traumatic brain injury, coma, stroke

Glasgow Outcome Scale


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The GOS has been developed to divide brain-damaged persons into broad categories following a cranial traumatism or a non-traumatic cerebral lesion.

The scale reflects inabilities and handicaps more than deficits, that is to say it is more useful for perturbations of functions caused by traumatism in the wider walks of life rather than any particular deficits and symptoms.

The scale is not intended to provide detailed information on the specific difficulties encountered by a patient, but is intended to provide a general indicator of overall development. This allows comparison of the development of different groups of patients in a simple and easily understandable manner.

The scale has been recommended as a measure of development in clinical trials and has been widely adopted in this sense.

The GOS consists of 5 points (from 1 "no sequel" to 5 deaths).

The creators of the scale modified it some years after its first appearance and proposed a scale extended to eight points, the "GOS Extended" (GOSE) (which this time consisted of 1 death to 8 "no sequels"). One therefore has to be vigilant when reading articles using this tool.

> Access to the scale is free

Psychometric properties:


Psychometric properties



Face validity


Content validity


Criterion validity

Concurrent validity


Predictive validity


Construct validity

Convergent validity

[5] [6]

Divergent validity


Discriminant validity
(sensitivity and distinctiveness)



Intra-rater reliability


Inter-rater reliability

[2] [4] [7]


[2] [3]

Internal consistency (alpha)




General comment on reliability:

This scale has some very interesting measurement qualities, particularly concerning the interater validity. This makes it an excellent tool for following up an important group of patients or for a gross classification of sequels in the after-effects of a severe cranial traumatism.

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More information:

For more details of the scale, the comments or the psychometric properties presented here, please contact Dr. François GENET :

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