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coma scale/standards, consciousness/nursing, pediatric nursing, predictive value of tests, rater/observer variation, severity of illness index



  1. Czaikowski, Brianna L.
  2. Liang, Hong
  3. Stewart, C. Todd


ABSTRACT: The Full Outline of UnResponsiveness (FOUR) Score is a coma scale that consists of four components (eye and motor response, brainstem reflexes, and respiration). It was originally validated among the adult population and recently in a pediatric population. To enhance clinical assessment of pediatric intensive care unit patients, including those intubated and/or sedated, at our children's hospital, we modified the FOUR Score Scale for this population. This modified scale would provide many of the same advantages as the original, such as interrater reliability, simplicity, and elimination of the verbal component that is not compatible with the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), creating a more valuable neurological assessment tool for the nursing community. Our goal was to potentially provide greater information than the formally used GCS when assessing critically ill, neurologically impaired patients, including those sedated and/or intubated. Experienced pediatric intensive care unit nurses were trained as "expert raters." Two different nurses assessed each subject using the Pediatric FOUR Score Scale (PFSS), GCS, and Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale at three different time points. Data were compared with the Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category (PCPC) assessed by another nurse. Our hypothesis was that the PFSS and PCPC should highly correlate and the GCS and PCPC should correlate lower. Study results show that the PFSS is excellent for interrater reliability for trained nurse-rater pairs and prediction of poor outcome and in-hospital mortality, under various situations, but there were no statistically significant differences between the PFSS and the GCS. However, the PFSS does have the potential to provide greater neurological assessment in the intubated and/or sedated patient based on the outcomes of our study.