It is generally accepted that improvement in the condition of a severely brain-damaged patient in a chronic stage such as the vegetative state is extremely difficult. Only a small number of patients hospitalized at CRC show marked functional improvement. However, a considerable number of patients show some degree of improvement. These minor improvements, such as a smile when spoken to, the ability to give a yes/no answer using a finger movement, or being able to take a small amount of food orally, are very important for the caregiver because they are encouraging and do much to reduce the psychological burden of the family member who cares the patient.
There are many scoring system for evaluating the ability of brain-damaged patients in chronic stages, such as the disability rating scale (DRS), and the functional impairment measure (FIM). However, these commonly used scoring system cannot display minor improvements of the patient such as we see at CRC, and we have originated a more appropriate scoring system: the “Chiba Scoring System for Severe Traumatic Brain Injury in Chronic Stage (the Chiba Score)”.