Misdiagnosis Of Disorders Of Consciousness Still Commonplace:
"ScienceDaily (July 21, 2009) — A sixteen-month study of consensus-based diagnosis of patients with disorders of consciousness has shown that 41% of cases of minimally conscious state (MCS) were misdiagnosed as vegetative state (VS), a condition associated with a much lower chance of recovery. Researchers have demonstrated that standardized neurobehavioral assessment is more sensitive than diagnoses determined by clinical consensus.
The researchers prospectively followed 103 patients with mixed etiologies and compared the clinical consensus diagnosis provided by the physician on the basis of the medical staff's daily observations to diagnoses derived from the CRS-R. They found that of the 44 patients diagnosed with VS based on the clinical consensus of the medical team, 18 (41%) were found to be in MCS following standardized assessment with the CRS-R. According to Laureys, "It is likely that the examiners' reliance on unstructured bedside observations contributed to the high rate of misdiagnosis of VS patients. Unlike traditional bedside assessment, the CRS-R guards against misdiagnosis by incorporating items that directly reflect the existing diagnostic criteria for MCS, and by operationalizing scoring criteria for the identification of behaviors associated with consciousness".
The researchers conclude, "The results of this study suggest that the systematic use of a sensitive standardized neurobehavioral assessment scale may help decrease diagnostic error and limit diagnostic uncertainty".
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Misdiagnosis Of Disorders Of Consciousness Still Commonplace
The point is that if they can't diagnose a vegetative state, how can they diagnose much more subtle cognitive problems with certainty.