A method for reducing misclassification in the extended Glasgow Outcome Score

Juan Lu, Anthony Marmarou, Kate Lapane, Elizabeth Turf, Lindsay Wilson, IMPACT Group, Isabella Butcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The eight-point extended Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOSE) is commonly used as the primary outcome measure in traumatic brain injury (TBI) clinical trials. The outcome is conventionally collected through a structured interview with the patient alone or together with a caretaker. Despite the fact that using the structured interview questionnaires helps reach agreement in GOSE assessment between raters, significant variation remains among different raters. We introduce an alternate GOSE rating system as an aid in determining GOSE scores, with the objective of reducing inter-rater variation in the primary outcome assessment in TBI trials. Forty-five trauma centers were randomly assigned to three groups to assess GOSE scores on sample cases, using the alternative GOSE rating system coupled with central quality control (Group 1), the alternative system alone (Group 2), or conventional structured interviews (Group 3). The inter-rater variation between an expert and untrained raters was assessed for each group and reported through raw agreement and with weighted kappa (kappa) statistics. Groups 2 and 3 without central review yielded inter-rater agreements of 83% (weighted kappa = 0.81; 95% CI 0.69, 0.92) and 83% (weighted kappa = 0.76, 95% CI 0.63, 0.89), respectively, in GOS scores. In GOSE, the groups had an agreement of 76% (weighted kappa = 0.79; 95% CI 0.69, 0.89), and 63% (weighted kappa = 0.70; 95% CI 0.60, 0.81), respectively. The group using the alternative rating system coupled with central monitoring yielded the highest inter-rater agreement among the three groups in rating GOS (97%; weighted kappa = 0.95; 95% CI 0.89, 1.00), and GOSE (97%; weighted kappa = 0.97; 95% CI 0.91, 1.00). The alternate system is an improved GOSE rating method that reduces inter-rater variations and provides for the first time, source documentation and structured narratives that allow a thorough central review of information. The data suggest that a collective effort can be made to minimize inter-rater variation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-52
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • clinical trial
  • extended Glasgow Outcome Scale
  • inter-ratervariation
  • misclassification
  • traumatic brain injury


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