Objectives Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale is the primary outcome measure in trials involving neurotrauma patients. Conventional dichotomization characterises unfavourable outcomes as upper severe disability or worse, however RESCUE-ICP changed this to consider upper severe disability as a favourable outcome. As the recent consensus meeting in Cambridge proved, opinion of what constitutes acceptable recovery can vary widely between individuals.
Design To survey patients with brain injury and compare them to the opinions of staff routinely involved in the care of such patients.
Subjects Patients with brain injuries, neurosurgery staff and ITU staff.
Method GOS-E sheets were given to neurotrauma patients and asked to circle the outcome they considered unfavourable and therefore would rather not survive. This was compared to the same question posed to neurosurgery staff members, and ITU staff members.
Results 67 responses collected (20 patients, 27 neurosurgery staff, 20 ITU staff). Mean GOS-E score deemed unfavourable and therefore not worth survival was 3.6, mode 3 (Patient mean 3.15, mode 3. Neurosurgery mean 3.63, mode 4. ITU mean 4.0, mode 5. p>0.05).
Conclusion What constitutes unfavourable outcome varies between each group of people questioned. Patients who have experienced brain injuries were more likely to feel that upper severe disability was an acceptable outcome when compared to the staff that care for them. It is imperative we take this in to consideration when recommending treatment strategies in an acute setting.
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