COSMIN database

Risk adjustment measures and outcome measures for prehospital trauma research: recommendations from the emergency medical services outcomes project (EMSOP)

Beskind, D. L., Keim, S. M., Spaite, D. W., Garrison, H. G., Lerner, E. B., Howse, D., and Maio, R. F.
OBJECTIVES: The objectives were to conduct a comprehensive, systematic review of the literature for risk adjustment measures (RAMs) and outcome measures (OMs) for prehospital trauma research and to use a structured expert panel process to recommend measures for use in future emergency medical services (EMS) trauma outcomes research.

METHODS: A systematic literature search and review was performed identifying the published studies evaluating RAMs and OMs for prehospital injury research. An explicit structured review of all articles pertaining to each measure was conducted using the previously established methodology developed by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association ("Physical Rehabilitation Outcome Measures").

RESULTS: Among the 4,885 articles reviewed, 96 RAMs and/or OMs were identified from the existing literature (January 1958 to February 2010). Only one measure, the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), currently meets Level 1 quality of evidence status and a Category 1 (strong) recommendation for use in EMS trauma research. Twelve RAMs or OMs received Category 2 status (promising, but not sufficient current evidence to strongly recommend), including the motor component of GCS, simplified motor score (SMS), the simplified verbal score (SVS), the revised trauma score (RTS), the prehospital index (PHI), EMS provider judgment, the revised trauma index (RTI), the rapid acute physiology score (RAPS), the rapid emergency medicine score (REMS), the field trauma triage (FTT), the pediatric triage rule, and the out-of-hospital decision rule for pediatrics.

CONCLUSIONS: Using a previously published process, a structured literature review, and consensus expert panel opinion, only the GCS can currently be firmly recommended as a specific RAM or OM for prehospital trauma research (along with core measures that have already been established and published). This effort highlights the paucity of reliable, validated RAMs and OMs currently available for outcomes research in the prehospital setting and hopefully will encourage additional, methodologically sound evaluations of the promising, Category 2 RAMs and OMs, as well as the development of new measures.
Acad Emerg Med
1553-2712 (Electronic)
Publication year:
Biological and physiological variables:
Biological and physiological variables
Adults (18-65)
Children (0-18)
Seniors (65+)
Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period and related symptoms
Certain infections and parasitic diseases and related symptoms
Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities and related symptoms
Diseases of and symptoms related to the blood and blood-forming organs and certain disorders involving the immune mechanism
Diseases of and symptoms related to the circulatory system
Diseases of and symptoms related to the digestive system
Diseases of and symptoms related to the ear and mastoid process
Diseases of and symptoms related to the eye and adnexa
Diseases of and symptoms related to the genitourinary system
Diseases of and symptoms related to the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
Diseases of and symptoms related to the nervous system
Diseases of and symptoms related to the respiratory system
Diseases of and symptoms related to the skin and subcutaneous tissue
Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases and related symptoms
External causes of morbidity and mortality
Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes
Mental and behavioural disorders and related symptoms
Neoplasms and related symptoms
Pregnancy, childbirth and puerperium and related symptom
Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified
PRO / non-PRO:
Non-patient Reported Outcome
EMS Provider Judgment
FTT - Field Trauma Triage
GCS - Glasgow Coma Scale   
MGCS - Motor Score of the GCS
Out-of-hospital Decision Rule for Pediatrics
Pediatric Triage Rule Combining GCS and Heart Rate
PHI - Prehospital Index
RAPS - Rapid Acute Physiology Score
REMS - Rapid Emergency Medicine Score
RTI - Revised Trauma Index
RTS - Revised Trauma Score
SMS - Simplified Motor Score