Effectiveness of a Glasgow coma scale instructional video for EMS providers

Peter L. Lane, Amado Alejandro Báez, Thomas Brabson, David D. Burmeister, John J. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Introduction: The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is the standard measure used to quantify the level of consciousness of patients who have sustained head injuries. Rapid and accurate GCS scoring is essential.Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a GCS teaching video shown to prehospital emergency medical services (EMS) providers.Methods: Participants and setting-United States, Mid-Atlantic region EMS providers. Intervention-Each participant scored all of the three components of the GCS for each of four scenarios provided before and after viewing a video-tape recording containing four scenarios. Design-Before-and-after single (Phase I) and parallel Cohort (Phase II). Analysis-Proportions of correct scores were compared using chi-square, and relative risk was calculated to measure the strength of the association.Results: 75 participants were included in Phase I. In Phase II, 46 participants participated in a parallel cohort design: 20 used GCS reference cards and 26 did not use the cards. Before observing the instructional video, only 14.7% score all of the scenarios correctly, where as after viewing the video, 64.0% scored the scenarios results were observed after viewing the video for those who used the GCS cards (p = 0.001; RR = 2.0; 95% CI = 1.29 to 3.10) than for those not using the cards (p <0.0001; RR = 10.0; 95% CI = 2.60 to 38.50).Conclusions: Post-video viewing scores were better than those observed before the video presentation. Ongoing evaluations include analysis of longterm skill retention and scoring accuracy in the clinical environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-146
Number of pages5
JournalPrehospital and Disaster Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • audio-visual aids
  • educational model
  • emergency medical services
  • instruction
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency


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