The Brief Test of Head Injury (BTHI) can quickly probe the cognitive, linguistic, and communicative abilities of patients with severe head trauma. The BTHI provides useful diagnostic information for immediate treatment and a baseline for charting recovery. It is an ideal first assessment post-coma because it is Brief and efficient. BTHI can be given to an individual in one or more short sessions, if necessary. Its sensitivity to small performance changes makes it useful for tracking recovery patterns during the period of spontaneous recovery. Results can be used in advising other team members on the best approaches for communicating with a patient and structuring individualized treatment. Experienced clinicians can identify problem areas to investigate more thoroughly, using modality-specific standardized Tests or informal measures.