Monthly Archives: August 2017
The Canadian Concussion Collaborative (CCC) released today a guide to help parents and their children choose a good concussion clinic.
Signs or symptoms of a concussion can include headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, and sensitivity to light or noise. For about nine in 10 people with concussions, symptoms heal gradually after seven to 10 days, but those with continuing symptoms may need a personalized care plan.
Finding a good concussion clinic that offers management and treatment can be confusing.
4 Characteristics of a Good Concussion Clinic suggests the questions to ask a clinic to make sure you’re receiving high-quality care that is supported by current guidelines.
“The guide provides important questions to ask and outlines the best approach to concussion care and management,” says Dr. Pierre Frémont, Chair of the CCC and professor at the department of rehabilitation in sports medicine general practice at Université Laval.
The four key characteristics to keep in mind when selecting a concussion clinic are:
- Medical doctor: Clinics should have timely access to physicians with experience in treating concussions who can do the initial assessment, direct care and provide final medical clearance.
- Team of licensed health care professionals: Clinics should have access to licensed professionals from several health care disciplines. They can provide complimentary expertise and work with the medical doctor to design a personalized treatment plan.
- Adhere to the most up-to-date standards of care: Recommended standards of care are updated every few years by groups of experts and are shared via documents like the international Consensus statement on concussion in sport.
- Tools, tests and recommendations used: Clinics should perform tests recommended in the most current international Consensus statement on concussion in sport to evaluate different components such as symptoms, mental functions and balance. Pre-season baseline testing is not recommended for children and adolescents.
“Good care and treatment is essential to a positive recovery from a concussion. Being able to identify a good concussion clinic that follows best practices provided by licensed health professionals is an important first step,” said Dr. Frémont.
About the Canadian Concussion Collaborative
The mission of the CCC is to create synergy between health organizations concerned with concussions in order to improve both the education about concussions, and the implementation of best practices for their prevention and management.
The CCC is composed of members from the following organizations:
- Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine
- Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians
- Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
- Canadian Athletic Therapists Association
- Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport
- Canadian Chiropractic Association
- Canadian Medical Association
- Canadian Neurosurgical Society
- Canadian Paediatric Society
- Canadian Physiotherapy Association
- Canadian Psychological Association
- College of Family Physicians of Canada
- National Emergency Nurses Association
- Ontario Medical Association Sport & Exercise Medicine Section
- Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation
- Royal College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences (Canada)
For more information, please visit http://casem-acmse.org/education/ccc/
Pacific Northwest University and Sports Medicine Advantage will host a sports concussion management conference on the morning of September 15 that will address the “evaluation and treatment of concussions, concussion pathophysiology, the legal aspects of a concussion, recovery, as well as a panel Q & A.”
Among the speakers for the conference, which starts at 8 am. and will be held at Butley-Haney Hall on the Yakima, WA-based university campus, are Dr. David Siebert from the University of Washington Huskies Sports Medicine.
To register for the conference, visit https://www.yakimamp.com/cme.asp
Generally, after suffering a concussion, patients are encouraged to avoid reading, watching TV and using mobile devices to help their brains heal. But new research shows that teen-agers who used a mobile health app once a day in conjunction with medical care improved concussion symptoms and optimism more than with standard medical treatment alone.
Researchers from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center collaborated on the study with Jane McGonigal of the Institute for the Future, who developed the mobile health app called SuperBetter after she suffered a concussion.
Results of the study are published online in the journal Brain Injury.
The 19 teens who participated in the study received standard of care for concussion symptoms that persisted beyond 3 weeks after the head injury, and the experimental group also used the SuperBetter app as a gamified symptoms journal.
“We found that mobile apps incorporating social game mechanics and a heroic narrative can complement medical care to improve health among teenagers with unresolved concussion symptoms, said first author Lise Worthen-Chaudhari, a physical rehabilitation specialist who studies movement at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center’s Neurological Institute.
The American Academy of Neurology recommends limiting cognitive and physical effort and prohibiting sports involvement until a concussed individual is asymptomatic without using medication. However, this level of physical, cognitive and social inactivity represents a lifestyle change with its own risk factors, including social isolation, depression and increased incidence of suicidal ideology, the researchers noted.
In addition, cognitive rest often involves limiting screen stimulation associated with popular modes of interpersonal interaction, such as text messaging and social networking on digital platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and multiplayer video gaming, thereby blocking common avenues for social connection.
“Teens who’ve had a concussion are told not to use media or screens, and we wanted to test if it was possible for them to use screens just a little bit each day, and get the bang for the buck with that,” Worthen-Chaudhari said. “The app rewrites things you might be frustrated about as a personal, heroic narrative. So you might start out feeling ‘I’m frustrated. I can’t get rid of this headache,’ and then the app helps reframe that frustration to ‘I battled the headache bad guy today. And I feel good about that hard work’.”
Concussion symptoms can include a variety of complaints, including headaches, confusion, depression, sleep disturbance, fatigue, irritability, agitation, anxiety, dizziness, difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly, sensitivity to light and noise, and impaired cognitive function.
Within the SuperBetter app, symptoms were represented as bad guys such as headaches, dizziness or feeling confused, and medical recommendations were represented as power ups, including sleep, sunglasses or an academic concussion management plan. Participants invited allies to join their personal network in the app and they could view their in-app activity and could send resilience points, achievements, comments and personalized emails in response to activity.
“Since 2005, the rate of reported concussions in high school athletes has doubled, and youth are especially at risk,” said study collaborator Dr. Kelsey Logan, director of the division of sports medicine at Cincinnati Children’s. “Pairing the social, mobile app SuperBetter with traditional medical care appears to improve outcomes and optimism for youth with unresolved concussion symptoms. More study is needed to investigate ways that leveraging interactive media may complement medical care and promote health outcomes among youth with concussion and the general population.”