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The convergence of an interdisciplinary team of neurocritical care specialists to organize the Curing Coma Campaign is the first effort of its kind to coordinate national and international research efforts aimed at a deeper understanding of disorders of consciousness (DoC). This process of understanding includes translational research from bench to bedside, descriptions of systems of care delivery, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and ethical frameworks. The description and measurement of varying confounding factors related to hospital care was thought to be critical in furthering meaningful research in patients with DoC. Interdisciplinary hospital care is inherently varied across geographical areas as well as community and academic medical centers. Access to monitoring technologies, specialist consultation (medical, nursing, pharmacy, respiratory, and rehabilitation), staffing resources, specialty intensive and acute care units, specialty medications and specific surgical, diagnostic and interventional procedures, and imaging is variable, and the impact on patient outcome in terms of DoC is largely unknown. The heterogeneity of causes in DoC is the source of some expected variability in care and treatment of patients, which necessitated the development of a common nomenclature and set of data elements for meaningful measurement across studies. Guideline adherence in hemorrhagic stroke and severe traumatic brain injury may also be variable due to moderate or low levels of evidence for many recommendations. This article outlines the process of the development of common data elements for hospital course, confounders, and medications to streamline definitions and variables to collect for clinical studies of DoC.

Original publication




Journal article


Neurocrit Care

Publication Date





586 - 592


Clinical studies, Coma, Common data elements, Consciousness, Standardization, Humans, Common Data Elements, Consciousness Disorders, Brain Injuries, Traumatic, Hospitals