Nurses' self-confidence and attitudes in using the Glasgow Coma Scale: A primary study

Ihsan Mattar*, Sok Y. Liaw, Moon F. Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: The aim of this study was to examine nurses' self-confidence and attitudes towards the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). Background: The GCS measures the depth and duration of impaired consciousness. However, there is an increasing evidence that problems are encountered in completing some aspects of the GCS. Design: This descriptive correlational study recruited 114 Registered Nurses (RNs) in one acute care hospital in Singapore. Methods: A set of questionnaires were given to the participants. The questionnaire had three parts, which collected data on demographics, attitudes and self-confidence. Results: Data analysis showed the type of clinical discipline (B = 0·19), seniority in nursing (Staff Grade) (B = 0·28) and higher attitude scores towards the GCS (B = 0·41) were significant factors determining a nurse's confidence in using the GCS. A longer length of time working in a Neuroscience setting (B = 0·21) and higher self-confidence scores (B = 0·41) were significant factors determining a nurse's attitude towards the GCS. Conclusion: To ensure patient safety, the GCS has to be performed accurately. This study has shown there are differences in attitudes and self-confidence in using the GCS between nurses of different demographics, and that there are a variety of factors influencing their attitudes and confidence. Relevance to clinical practice: Mentoring and educational interventions are suggested in order to reduce safety risks resulting from lower proficiency in using the GCS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-107
Number of pages10
JournalNursing in critical care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes
  • Conscious level
  • Glasgow coma scale
  • Neuromonitoring
  • Neuroscience
  • Neurosurgery
  • Nursing
  • Self-confidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care


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