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Study Reveals Gaps in Follow-Up Care After Concussion

Media Advisory

Friday, May 25, 2018


Being discharged from a hospital trauma center after receiving treatment for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) does not necessarily mean that a patient has fully recovered. TBI can lead to long-lasting physical & cognitive symptoms, but a new study in JAMA Network Open suggests that many patients may not be receiving follow-up care.

Patients in the Transforming Research & Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) initiative, a large, long-term, NIH-funded study of patients who are treated at the emergency room for mild TBI or concussion, were surveyed about their care after hospital discharge. Follow-up care in this study referred to receiving TBI-related educational materials at discharge, a call from the hospital within two weeks after release, seeing a healthcare provider within two weeks, or seeing a healthcare provider within three months.

According to the findings, 44 percent of the 831 patients who completed questionnaires 2 weeks & 3 months after sustaining TBI reported seeing a doctor or other provider within three months. Of those patients, 15 percent visited a clinic that specialized in head injury. Approximately half of the patients saw a general practitioner & close to a third reported seeing more than one type of doctor.

Additionally, among the 279 patients with three or more moderate-to-severe post-concussive symptoms, 41 percent had not had a follow-up visit at three months after discharge. Approximately half of the patients were discharged without TBI educational materials.

Rates & components of follow-up care after TBI varied widely from institution to institution, even among patients with the same initial degree of injury.


Assessment of follow-up care after emergency Department presentation for mild traumatic brain injury and concussion: Results from the TRACK-TBI study. JAMA Network Open.


Walter Koroshetz, M.D., Director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke, & Patrick Bellgowan, Ph.D., Program Director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, are available to comment on this study


To schedule interviews, please contact the NINDS Press Team, nindspressteam@ninds.nih.gov, 301-496-5751

The NINDS is the nation’s leading funder of research on the brain & nervous system. The mission of NINDS is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system & to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes & Centers & is a component of the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting & supporting basic, clinical, & translational medical research, & is investigating the causes, treatments, & cures for both common & rare diseases. For more information about NIH & its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®


Source: nih.gov

Updated: May 31, 2018 — 7:45 pm

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