Global Rating of Change Scale

Explore the Global Rating of Change Scale, a key tool to assess the clinical significance of patient-reported outcomes. Get your free PDF template now.

By Joshua Napilay on May 15, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is a Global Rating of Change Scale?

A Global Rating of Change Scale (GRoC) is an outcome measure utilized in research and clinical practice to assess patients' perceptions of change in various health-related domains, particularly chronic diseases like lower back pain or shoulder disorders. 

It is a self-report outcome measure where patients rate their current health status or functional measures against a previous state or baseline. GRoC scales are designed to capture clinically meaningful change over time, providing valuable insights into treatment effectiveness and patient satisfaction.

In clinical trials, GRoC scales are often employed to assess the success of interventions by evaluating the extent of change experienced by patients. This involves comparing patients' current or functional health status to their baseline or previous condition. 

The scale typically ranges from -7 (a very great deal worse) to +7 (a very great deal better), with various gradations in between to capture different levels of change. Researchers and clinicians then use these ratings to compute change scores and determine the minimal clinically significant difference (MCID) — the minor change score patients perceive as meaningful clinical importance.

How is this scale answered?

The Global Rating of Change (GRC) scale, including variations like the Patient Global Rating of Change, is typically answered by the patient reflecting on their health status compared to a previous point in time, often before the start of treatment or an intervention. This scale captures the patient's perceived change in symptoms, function, or overall well-being.

The scale usually has a numerical range, with the midpoint representing "no change." Negative values to one side indicate varying degrees of worsening, and positive values on the other side represent different levels of improvement. For instance, a 15-point scale might range from -7 through 0 to +7, where:

  • -7 represents "a very great deal worse"
  • 0 represents "no change"
  • +7 represents "a very great deal better"

Patients select the point on the scale that best describes their perceived change in condition. The selection is subjective and based on the patient's recall and assessment of their status compared to the baseline period.

In clinical practice or research, this scale helps gauge the effectiveness of treatments from the patient's perspective, providing a straightforward and personally relevant outcome measure. It's particularly useful in studies or treatments where subjective perception of change is as vital as objectively measured outcomes.

What are the next steps after the scale is answered?

Several steps follow after a patient completes the Global Rating of Change (GRC) scale. These steps are essential for interpreting the results and integrating them into decision-making processes:

  1. Data collection: Collect and record the patient's response. It might be noted in the patient's record for interpretation and further future analysis.
  2. Interpretation: Interpret the patient's response in the context of their treatment or condition. A positive score indicates improvement, while a negative score suggests deterioration. The magnitude of the number provides insight into the degree of change the patient perceives.
  3. Clinical decision-making: Use the scale's outcome to guide clinical decisions. Clinicians might continue with the current treatment plan for patients reporting significant improvement. Conversely, if a patient reports no change or deterioration, this might prompt a re-evaluation of the treatment strategy, including adjustments to therapy or further diagnostic testing.
  4. Discussion with the patient: Discuss the results with the patient, including their perception of change and any concerns they might have. This conversation can provide valuable context for the score and help set or adjust treatment goals.
  5. Setting goals: Use the information from the scale to set new treatment goals with the patient. If the patient has improved, goals might focus on maintenance or addressing other concerns. If there's been no change or worsening, goals may be re-evaluated to focus on more pressing issues or symptoms.
  6. Monitoring and follow-up: Plan for ongoing monitoring and follow-up. Determine the frequency of future assessments with the scale to track the patient's progress. Continuous monitoring can help adjust the treatment plan based on the patient's changing condition.
  7. Documentation: Document the scale's outcome, any decisions based on the results, and the plan moving forward. In clinical practice, this ensures continuity of care.

Printable Global Rating of Change Scale PDF

Download this Global Rating of Change Scale to assess the clinical significance of patient-reported outcomes.

How does our Global Rating of Change Scale template work?

The scale is a straightforward yet powerful tool designed to capture a patient's self-assessment of change in their condition or symptoms over time, typically before and after a specific intervention or throughout a treatment period. Here's how the template for a GRC scale generally works:


The scale typically includes a series of points ranging from negative to positive, indicating worsening through to improvement. A typical range is -7 to +7, where -7 signifies "a very great deal worse," 0 signifies "no change," and +7 signifies "a very great deal better." However, the range can be adjusted (e.g., -5 to +5 or -10 to +10) based on the specific needs of the research or clinical practice.


Patients are asked to compare their current state to a previous point, typically before the intervention or the onset of a treatment period. This comparison could be related to symptoms, overall condition, functionality, or any other relevant aspect of health.

Patients receive clear instructions to reflect on their condition or symptoms' change and select the point on the scale that best represents their perceived change. This process requires the patient to recall their prior state, evaluate their current state, and judge the degree of change.


Each point on the scale is associated with a specific numerical value, allowing for quantitative data analysis. The scale also offers qualitative insights into the patient's perception of their health status change, providing a more comprehensive understanding of treatment outcomes.


Clinicians use the scale to monitor patient progress, evaluate treatment effectiveness, and make informed decisions about future treatment plans. It helps tailor treatments to patients' needs and track improvements or deterioration.


The scale centers on the patient's perspective, acknowledging the importance of patient-reported outcomes in healthcare. Its simplicity makes it easy to use across various conditions and settings.


The accuracy of the scale can be affected by the patient's ability to recall their previous state accurately. The scale's reliance on patient self-reporting introduces a degree of subjectivity, which may be influenced by factors unrelated to the treatment or condition.

The GRC Scale template offers a flexible and patient-centered approach for evaluating change over time. Its effectiveness, however, hinges on clear instructions and the patient's capacity for self-assessment.

Global Rating of Change Scale example (sample)

Unlock the power of patient-centered feedback with our free Global Rating of Change Scale template example! Designed to facilitate the evaluation of treatment effectiveness and guide personalized care, our template empowers patients to express their experiences and perceptions of change since the baseline assessment. 

By downloading our template, healthcare providers gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of interventions. This allows for tailored adjustments to treatment plans and improved patient outcomes. With clear instructions and structured assessment prompts, our template streamlines the capture of patient-reported outcomes, ensuring that every voice is heard and every change is accounted for. 

Take advantage of this invaluable tool for enhancing patient care and treatment decision-making. Download our free Global Rating of Change Scale template example today and take the next step towards personalized, patient-centered healthcare.

Download our free Global Rating of Change Scale template example here

Global Rating of Change Scale example

What are the benefits of using this scale?

The Global Rating of Change Scale (GRoC) offers a systematic review of several benefits of using the rating of change scales in both clinical practice and research settings:

  • Patient-centered assessment: The GRoC scale provides a direct means for patients to communicate their perceptions of change in their health status or functional abilities. Involving patients in the assessment process ensures their perspectives are central to evaluating treatment outcomes.
  • Sensitive to individual change: The scale captures individualized changes experienced by patients, allowing for a nuanced understanding of treatment effectiveness. It accommodates variations in patient response and accounts for improvements and health status deteriorations.
  • Quantifiable measurement: Despite its subjective nature, the GRoC scale generates quantifiable data through numerical ratings. This enables statistical analysis and comparison across groups or time points, facilitating evidence-based clinical practice and research decision-making.
  • Clinically relevant outcomes: By focusing on meaningful changes to patients, the GRoC scale assesses clinically relevant outcomes that align with patients' treatment goals and priorities. This promotes patient-centered care and enhances patient satisfaction with treatment outcomes.
  • Ease of administration: The GRoC scale is relatively simple and quick to administer, making it suitable for routine clinical practice. Its straightforward instructions and standardized format minimize the burden on patients and healthcare providers.
  • Complementary to other measures: The GRoC scale complements objective and other patient-reported outcome measures, comprehensively assessing treatment outcomes. It offers unique insights into patients' perceptions of change that may not be captured by traditional outcome measures alone.
  • Facilitates shared decision-making: The GRoC scale facilitates shared decision-making between patients and healthcare providers by eliciting patients' perspectives on treatment outcomes. It encourages collaborative discussions about treatment goals, expectations, and preferences.

Why use Carepatron as your clinical documentation software?

Carepatron is a top choice for clinical documentation software due to its comprehensive features tailored to healthcare professionals' needs. The software offers a user-friendly interface that simplifies documentation, allowing healthcare providers to prioritize patient care over paperwork. 

With customizable templates, Carepatron ensures accurate and efficient patient record management, reducing errors and enhancing documentation quality. The platform's secure environment, including end-to-end encryption and HIPAA compliance, guarantees the confidentiality and safety of patient information. 

Moreover, Carepatron facilitates seamless collaboration among healthcare team members, enabling real-time communication and coordination on patient files. Its voice-to-text functionality streamlines note-taking, saving time and ensuring precise records.

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What is the global change rating scale?
What is the global change rating scale?

Commonly asked questions

What is the global change rating scale?

The Global Change Rating Scale, or GRoC scale, is a self-report measure used to assess patients' perceptions of a statistically significant change in their health status or functional abilities over a recall period.

What is a global rating scale?

A global rating scale is a tool that allows individuals to provide an overall rating or evaluation of global ratings of a specific aspect, such as treatment effectiveness, physical therapy, satisfaction, or other health-related quality of life.

What is the global rating?

The global rating refers to individuals' overall assessment or rating regarding the successful overall outcome of a particular aspect. It is often used to summarize the overall successful outcome of individuals' perceptions or experiences.

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