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Adult Cognition, Language and Neuropsychology -
General Abilities

Wessex Head Injury Matrix (WHIM)
Agnes Shiel, Barbara A Wilson, Lindsay McLellan, Sandra Horn and Martin Watson, 2000

Assess and monitor recovery of cognitive
function after severe head injury

Age Range:
16 years and over

Individual - Untimed

The Wessex Head Injury Matrix (WHIM) is designed for the accurate assessment of patients in and emerging from coma and in the vegetative and minimally conscious states. The 62 item observational matrix can be used to assess the patient and set goals for rehabilitation from the outset of coma. The WHIM bridges the gap between those scales that are useful in the very acute stages after head injury and standard tests of cognition, motor skills and dependency, which are helpful in later stages of recovery. 

Improvements from the initial state of coma may be gradual and unless accurate assessment takes place, small gains may be missed or misinterpreted. The WHIM has been designed to pick up minute indices demonstrating recovery, and provide objective evidence so that prediction is realistic. It is both easy and quick to administer and can be used by any qualified member of a multidisciplinary team. 

Unlike other scales, the WHIM provides a sequential framework of observation covering communication ability, cognitive skills, and social interaction. The matrix can be used to collect data by observation and by testing tasks used in everyday life. It focuses on what the patient does or does not do rather than upon clinical diagnostic features. Previously published scales have been limited by their inability to detect subtle change because of the breadth of their categories, by their inability to delineate various dimensions of observable behaviour, and by the fact that they are indeed scales dependent to some extent upon subjective views rather than tightly defined categories of observation as contained in the WHIM

Available Products


Complete kit: Includes manual and pack of 25 scoring sheets
Additional copies of materials:
Scoring sheets, pack of 50