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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 193-196

Knowledge of the glasgow coma scale among physician interns in a Nigerian tertiary health facility

1 Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, Federal Medical Center, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Neurological Surgery, University College Hospital; Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Toyin Ayofe Oyemolade
Department of Surgery, Federal Medical Center, PMB 1053, Owo, Ondo State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_191_21

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Background: The Glasgow coma scale (GCS) is the most utilized level of consciousness scale globally. Insufficient working knowledge of the GCS by physicians may contribute to poor outcomes in patients with altered levels of consciousness. Aim: This study aims to assess the knowledge of the GCS among the physician interns, also known as house officers, in a rural tertiary health facility in Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This was a questionnaire-based survey among physician interns in a rural tertiary hospital in Nigeria. Results: All the 77 respondents graduated from medical school within 2 years of the study. Seventy-two (93.5%) of the participants had been actively involved in the management of patients at the hospital's accident and emergency department within a month before the study, while 71.4% had been involved in emergency care outside the accident and emergency department within a month prior. Seventy-five (97.4%) conceded to having received didactic lectures on the GCS in the course of their medical training. About three-quarters (74.03%) of the respondents correctly defined GCS as GCS; about 85.7% were able to correctly identify all the clinical variables of the GCS, while only 15.6% could correctly describe and score all the parameters of the grading scale. The eye-opening response was the most correctly remembered (64.9%), followed by the verbal response (42.9%), while the motor response was remembered by 29.9% of the respondents (P = 0.04). Only 36 (46.8%) participants were aware of any subsequent modification to the original GCS score. Conclusion: The working knowledge of GCS is poor among physician interns surveyed in this study. The clinical variable of the GCS with the highest number of items, the motor response, was the least correctly remembered.

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