Assessment of physicians’ knowledge of Glasgow Coma Score

  • JKC Emejulu
  • SPU Nkwerem
  • OC Ekweogwu
Keywords: Head injury, inter‑rater reliability, prognostication, trauma


Background: Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is the most commonly used tool in assessing comatose patients. It is simple, easily communicable, and useful in prognostication and determination of the treatment modality in head injury. Unfortunately, a high percentage of clinicians who are not in the emergency or neurological services are not conversant with this life‑saving tool.
Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the level of knowledge of GCS among physicians practicing in a tertiary institution in South‑East Nigeria, and to evaluate the call for a new and simpler scoring system.
Materials and Methods: This study was carried out using the instrument of a structured‑questionnaire in Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, a federal government tertiary health institution in South‑East Zone of Nigeria, which is a 350‑bed facility employing about 550 medical doctors of different adres.
Results: A total of 139 questionnaires were distributed to the doctors practicing in the institution who consented to participating in the study. The questionnaires were completed at the point of their administration and completed questionnaires were retrieved on the spot, and data were collated, and analyzed with the Statistical Package for Social Sciences, SPSS version 17.0. Statistical significance was calculated with the chi square, P ≤ 0.5. The modal age group was 20‑30 years 66 (48%), and most were resident doctors 99 (66.2%). One week prior to the questionnaire distribution, 56 (42.1%) had been actively involved in emergency care of patients, and 41 (30%) could not recall what GCS stood for. Medical and house officers showed a better knowledge of GCS.
Conclusion: There was a poor knowledge of GCS among a good number of physicians practicing in our setting and hence, continuing medical education on GCS is strongly advocated.

Key words: Head injury, inter‑rater reliability, prognostication, trauma


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eISSN: 1119-3077