Dear Colleagues,

To date no international guidelines or recommendations about diagnostic process are available, despite current clinical diagnostic criteria of patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) have been largely shared among clinicians and researchers. Additionally, specific guidelines for pediatric patients (age 0 to 17 years) are lacking. As a consequence, diagnostic procedures for pediatric DOC could be extremely heterogeneous in different countries and, most often, across regions in the same country. In particular, the diagnostic clinical and instrumental tools may largely differ across clinical settings both in acute and in chronic phase. Moreover, to date evolution of patients in Vegetative State or Minimally Conscious State has not been clearly established, and knowledge about clinical evolution as a function of prognostic markers is not sufficiently robust to provide reliable information guiding clinicians and patients’ family in decision-making processes.

This survey would like to explore which kind of specific diagnostic protocols or prognostic indices are adopted in pediatric neurorehabilitation setting in different countries and if there are national guidelines providing specific recommendations for children/adolescents. For these purposes, we kindly ask you to answer the following questionnaire relating to your rehabilitation centre and your country. We would like to evaluate if, for instance, the clinical scales routinely adopted in your institution are regulated by local protocols or by national health care systems guidelines, whether  you follow specific guidelines for patients in pediatric age, and whether, and which, neurophysiological evaluations are performed in the routine practice.

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