The Children's Orientation and Amnesia Test: relationship to severity of acute head injury and to recovery of memory

Neurosurgery. 1990 Nov;27(5):683-91; discussion 691.


The Children's Orientation and Amnesia Test (COAT) was developed to assess cognition serially during the early stage of recovery from traumatic brain injury in children and adolescents. The norms for the COAT, which is composed of 16 items evaluating general orientation, temporal orientation, and memory, were defined from data obtained from 146 children aged 3 to 15 years. In 37 patients with head injuries, the duration of posttraumatic amnesia, as indicated by the number of days COAT scores were in the impaired range, was significantly related to both verbal and nonverbal memory at the baseline and 6 and 12 months after injury. COAT scores were a better predictor of verbal and nonverbal memory performance than the Glasgow Coma Scale score at 6 and 12 months after the injury. This study shows that the COAT has adequate reliability and validity as a measure of the duration of posttraumatic amnesia in children and adolescents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Amnesia / diagnosis*
  • Amnesia / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / complications
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / diagnosis
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Orientation*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reference Values
  • Time Factors