Coma recovery scale: Key clinical tool ignored enough in disorders of consciousness

Jitender Chaturvedi, Shiv Kumar Mudgal, Tejas Venkataram, Priyanka Gupta, Nishant Goyal, Gaurav Jain, Anil Kumar Sharma, Suresh Kumar Sharma, Bernard R. Bendok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Disorders of consciousness (DoC) includes coma, vegetative state (VS), minimally conscious state (MCS), and emergence from the MCS. Aneurysmal rupture with high-grade SAH, traumatic brain injury, and neoplastic brain lesions are some of the frequent pathologies leading to DoC. The diagnostic errors among these DoC are as high as ranging from 25% to 45%, with a probable error in the conclusion of patients' state, treatment choice, end-of-life decision-making, and prognosis. Some studies also reported that 37-43% of patients were misdiagnosed in VS while demonstrating signs of awareness. Despite its wide acceptance, Coma Recovery Scale- Revised (CRS-r) remained underused or inappropriately utilized, which may lead to substandard or unprofessional patient care. Literature is rare on the knowledge of CRS-r among physicians published from India and across the globe. Therefore, we carried out the present study to ascertain physicians' knowledge on CRS-r and raise awareness about its justifiable clinical utilization. We also explored the factors associated with this perceived level of experience among participants and recommend frequent physicians' training for care of patients with DoC. Methods: An institution-based cross-sectional online survey was conducted from June 8 to July 7, 2020, among Ninety-six physicians recruited using a convenient sampling technique. Twenty-item, validated, reliable, and a pilot-tested questionnaire was used to assess the knowledge regarding CRS-r and collect socio-demographic variables. The analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 23. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were employed to assess the association of participants' sociodemographic variables and their parent department of work with the knowledge. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant in the multivariate analysis. Results: A total of Ninety-six participants were included in the analysis, and only 33.3% of them were found to have adequate knowledge of CRS-r. Multivariate analysis revealed that age (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 31.66; 95% CI: 6.25-160.36), gender (AOR = 44.16; 95% CI: 7.43-268.23), and parent department of working (AOR = 0.148; 95% CI: 0.06-0.39) were significantly associated with the knowledge. Conclusion: Knowledge of the physicians on CRS-r is found to be exceptionally low. It has a strong tendency to adversely affect patients' optimal care with disorders of consciousness (DoC). Therefore, it is crucial to expand physicians' knowledge and awareness regarding CRS-r to adequately screen patients with DoC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA23
JournalSurgical Neurology International
StatePublished - Mar 9 2021


  • Coma recovery scale-revised
  • Disorders of consciousness
  • Knowledge
  • Neurosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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