What is it about?

Disorders of Consciousness after severe brain injury is a perplexing phenomenon for clinicians and families. The outcome is uncertain in the first weeks and months after injury. This article highlights the complexities and challenges of identifying an outcomes for the patient in the acute and chronic phases of recovery.

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Why is it important?

This article outlines the multiple variables that require consideration when developing a prediction of patient outcome in the short term and long term. Evidence is provided that supports the importance of time since injury, mechanism of brain injury and references current clinical practice guidelines related to prognosis and prognostic counseling for disorders of consciousness.


My clinical experience in serving patients and families experiencing DoC is living with the unknown is one of the hardest parts of DoC and causes a large amount of grief, anxiety and burden to families. Writing a comprehensive piece on evidence-based approach to prognosis will help other clinical teams guide families in making decisions for their loved-ones and help them understand what to expect and to prepare for in terms of recovery over time to attempt to decrease the psychological burden these families face.

Brooke Murtaugh
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Prognosis and enhancement of recovery in disorders of consciousness, Neurorehabilitation, January 2024, IOS Press,
DOI: 10.3233/nre-230148.
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