It is important for patient safety that the patient's level of consciousness is assessed and documented in a structured and reliable manner. The Full Outline of Unresponsiveness (FOUR) score measures the level of consciousness more comprehensively than the coma scales that are commonly used in Sweden. Therefore, there was a need to translate the FOUR score into Swedish and to evaluate its use in a Swedish healthcare context.
The aim of this study was to translate the FOUR score into Swedish and to evaluate the reliability of the Swedish version compared with the reliability of the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS).
The English version of the FOUR score was translated into Swedish and evaluated in terms of interrater reliability and internal consistency on fictitious patient cases with an advanced high-fidelity patient simulator. Two nurses rated 30 patient cases with the FOUR score and the GCS. Interrater reliability for items was determined by quadratic-weighted kappa and for the total score by intraclass correlation coefficient. Internal consistency was calculated with Cronbach's alpha.
The fourth version of the Swedish translation reached consensus in the expert panel. The back-translation was approved by the author of the original FOUR score. Interrater reliability of the Swedish version of the FOUR score was excellent; the weighted kappa was 0.94-1, and intraclass correlation coefficient = .99 (95% CI [0.97, 0.99]), and these were equal to the reliability of the GCS. Cronbach's alpha showed a high degree of internal consistency for the FOUR score (a = .92 for rater A and .91 for rater B), which was slightly higher than that for the GCS.
The Swedish version of the FOUR score is equivalent to the original English version and has shown excellent reliability using fictitious patient cases with an advanced patient simulator.