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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34-38

Knowledge of Glasgow coma scale by Physicians in a Tertiary Health Institution in Nigeria

1 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
2 Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
3 Department of Medicine, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. A S Yusuf
P. O. Box 4465, Ilorin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Summary Aims and Objectives The Glasgow coma scale (GCS) form the basis for important management decisions by the attending physicians or other health personnel in the care of comatose patients. Inaccurate reporting may result in unnecessary treatment and diagnostic tests. The purpose of this study is to assess the knowledge of GCS among physicians in different specialties of training in a tertiary centre in Nigeria. Materials and Methods The study was a descriptive survey conducted among doctors at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) Ilorin, in North Central Nigeria. Physicians from different specialties and all levels of training were surveyed. Questionnaires were administered simultaneously within a department without prior notification. Participants were instructed not to use any reference materials while completing the questionnaire. Results Majority of the physicians could indicate correctly what GCS stands for (97%) and identify each category correctly. However, only 37% could score all the categories correctly. There was a positive impact in theoretical knowledge and recall among respondents who has had training in GCS. The level of training of respondents correlated well with recall of GCS with Residents and interns faring better than fellows and medical officers. Recall of GCS scoring was least among Physicians in family medicine compared to physicians in other specialties. Conclusion Improved training with retention strategies in the use of the GCS and retraining of all physicians involved in the management of the comatose patients should be the focus of future strategic plans.

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