Measuring brain function after a brain injury can be difficult. As a result, a number of different scales have been developed and are used by medical professionals to rate function and ability in individuals who have suffered brain injuries.

Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS)

The Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) is a categorization tool used to group individuals who have suffered brain injuries. It is used by doctors to easily identify the severity of the injury the individual suffered and their level of disability. The GOS uses the following five categories:

  • Death
  • Persistent Vegetative State
  • Severe Disability
  • Moderate Disability
  • Low Disability
Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOSe)

The Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOSe) was created to expand upon the original GOS and to provide doctors with more specific ways to describe and measure a person’s current state after a brain injury. The GOSe includes eight categories:

  • Dead
  • Vegetative State
  • Low Severe Disability
  • Upper Severe Disability
  • Low Moderate Disability
  • Upper Moderate Disability
  • Low Good Recovery
  • Upper Good Recovery
Disability Rating Scale (DRS)

The Disability Rating Scale (DRS) is used to measure and rate several different categories to determine an individual’s level of disability after a brain injury. The DRS can be used multiple times throughout a person’s injury and recovery to rate progress and is a simple two page form. The DRS rates disability by looking at each of the following categories:

  • Eye Opening
  • Communication Ability
  • Motor Response
  • Feeding
  • Grooming
  • Level Of Functioning
  • Employability
Functional Status Examination (FSE)

The Functional Status Examination (FSE) is used to evaluate changes in personal activities after a serious injury or illness. It is useful in situations involving brain injuries because it allows a patient to be measured and rated based on a number of personal and social categories that are often overlooked in other functional assessments. People are ranked on 10 different categories and are given a total overall score of between 0 and 27. The 10 different categories are:

  • Executive Functioning
  • Social Integration
  • Personal Care
  • Ambulation
  • Standard of Living
  • Home Management
  • Travel
  • Financial Independence
  • Major Activity Involving Work or School
  • Leisure and Recreation

Each of these different measurement choices provide useful information in measuring function after a brain injury. Doctors may use one or more of these tools when evaluating disability after an injury and throughout the patient’s recovery from a brain injury.