Follow-up Care for Patients with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion Can Be Improved
Even though millions of Americans suffer from mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) annually, they may not receive enough information after their injury to understand what's transpired and how to care for themselves going forward. That's the determination of a new cohort study in JAMA Network Open. The authors said gaps occur in follow-up care, even for patients with positive CT findings, or those who experience post-concussive symptoms.
They analyzed data from patients with mTBI from the Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) study between February 26, 2014, and August 25, 2016. They looked at variations in follow-up care, types of clinicians delivering care, and patient and injury characteristics associated with a higher likelihood of receiving follow-up care. Follow-up care was defined as hospitals providing TBI educational material at discharge, hospitals calling patients to follow up, and patients seeing a physician or other medical practitioner within three months after the injury.
Results showed fewer than half of patients with mTBI self-reported receiving TBI educational material at discharge or seeing a medical practitioner within three months of the injury. Their conclusion: These results highlight the need for more rigorous and systematic follow-up for patients who experience TBI or concussion.