The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) is commonly used in the assessment of stroke severity. Nurses, who use the tool infrequently, find it difficult to use due to the neurologic terminology embedded in the scale. For this project, we modified the NIHSS by replacing the neurologic terminology for each component of the original scale with plain English. No components were deleted or changed; the language was merely simplified. Testing showed the modified tool to be reliable (0.96) and valid (0.977) when compared with the NIHSS.
Allen J. Brown is a Senior Research Analyst at the Center for Outcomes Research and Education at Providence Portland Medical Center, Portland, OR.
Lisa Rietz Yanase, MD, is a medical director for the Stroke Team at Providence Portland Medical Center, Portland, OR.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Sandy Dancer, RN MS ANP-C, at Sandy.Dancer@providence.org. She is a stroke nurse practitioner at Providence Portland Medical Center, Portland, OR.