Although the GCS was designed as a triage tool to provide an initial and serial assessment of patients who suffered head trauma, some medical research has attempted to report on the use of GCS scores to predict the ultimate outcome for head injury patients. Most of the research that has made such attempts has also used other outcome measuring tools in conjunction with the GCS scores to try and predict outcome.
For instance, the Glascow Outcome Scale uses five categories summarizing outcomes in TBI cases: Death, vegetative state, severely disabled, moderately disabled and good recovery. An extended GOS scale was developed which added further divides the last three categories thereby making it an 8 category scale: lower severe disability, upper severe disability, lower moderate disability, upper moderate disability and lower good recovery and upper good recovery.
The GOS was commonly used before other scales were developed. The GOS has been replaced by the Disability Rating Scale (DRS). This scale was developed and tested with older juvenile and adult individuals with moderate and severe traumatic brain injury. One advantage is the ability of the DRS to track a patient from coma to community. The scale is intended to accurately measure general functional changes over the course of recovery.
The DRS uses some measures of the GCS such as Eye Opening, Communication Ability, and Motor Response. But, it also uses cognitive ability for self-care such as Feeding, Toileting, and Grooming. Further it measures Dependence on Others: Level of Functioning. Finally, it measures Psychosocial Adaptability through employability. The scale ranges from 0-29 with 0 representing normal and 29 measuring extreme vegetative state or possible death
Score 0 – Normal Score 12 to 16 - Severe
Score 1- Mild Score 17 to 21- Extremely Severe
Score 2-3.5 Partial Score 22 to 24 – Vegetative State
Score 4-6 – Moderate Score 25-29 – Extreme Vegetative State
Score 7-11 Moderately Severe