Neurobehavioural assessment and diagnosis in disorders of consciousness: a preliminary study of the Sensory Tool to Assess Responsiveness (STAR).

Neuropsychological rehabilitation

PubMedID: 27494756

Stokes V, Gunn S, Schouwenaars K, Badwan D. Neurobehavioural assessment and diagnosis in disorders of consciousness: a preliminary study of the Sensory Tool to Assess Responsiveness (STAR). Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2016;1-18.
The Sensory Tool to Assess Responsiveness (STAR) is an interdisciplinary neurobehavioural diagnostic tool for individuals with prolonged disorders of consciousness. It utilises current diagnostic criteria and is intended to improve upon the high misdiagnosis rate in this population. This study assesses the inter-rater reliability of the STAR and its diagnostic validity in comparison with the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R) and the Wessex Head Injury Matrix (WHIM). PARTICIPANTS
were patients with severe acquired brain injury resulting in a disorder of consciousness, who were admitted to the Royal Leamington Spa Rehabilitation Hospital between 1999 and 2009.Patients underwent sensory stimulation sessions during their period of admission, which were recorded on video. Using this footage, patients were re-assessed for this study using the STAR, WHIM and CRS-R criteria. The STAR demonstrated "moderate" inter-rater reliability, "substantial" diagnostic agreement with the CRS-R, and "moderate" agreement with the WHIM. There were no significant differences between diagnoses assigned by the different assessments. The STAR demonstrated a good degree of inter-rater reliability in identification of diagnoses for patients with disorders of consciousness. The diagnostic outcomes of the STAR agreed at a good level with the CRS-R, moderately with the WHIM, and did not significantly differ from either. This demonstrates the reliability and validity of the STAR, showing its appropriateness for clinical use. Future longitudinal studies and research into the STAR's applicability in long-stay rehabilitation are indicated.