OBJECTIVE. The Western Neuro Sensory Stimulation Profile (WNSSP) presents a hierarchy of items suggestive of a sequence of recovery. The aim of this study was to understand the sequence of recovery of neurobehavioral function in patients with brain injury and determine whether this sequence was consistent with the WNSSP test item order.

METHOD. We conducted a retrospective clinical chart audit of 37 adult inpatients (mean age = 29 yr; 31 men, 6 women) with a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury and a minimum of two medical record entries on the WNSSP. The sequence of recovery was statistically derived from the content and structure of the WNSSP.

RESULTS. Our analysis did not support the current item ordering of the WNSSP as a function of the sequence of recovery from coma, with the exception of the Arousal/Attention subscale.

CONCLUSION. WNSSP item performance suggested a sequence of recovery; clinicians may consider a revised item order that reflects this observed order.

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