Addition of Occupational Therapy to an Interdisciplinary Concussion Clinic Improves Identification of Functional Impairments


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Abstract

Background:Concussions, or mild traumatic brain injuries, are prevalent among youth and young adults. These injuries may disrupt a person's daily activities (occupations) including school, physical activity, work, and socialization. Rehabilitation professionals, such as occupational therapists (OTs), are experts in providing individualized intervention to address these temporary life changes during recovery.Objective:This article aims to identify the benefit of having an occupational therapy practitioner on an interdisciplinary treatment team when providing intervention to patients with concussion.Setting:Concussion clinic at an academic institution.Participants:Participants ages 12 to 24 years with a reported history of mild traumatic brain injury or concussion were evaluated by a physician, or by a physician and OT, in an initial evaluation appointment.Design:A single researcher (OT) with training in concussion qualitatively compared reported impacted occupational domains as defined in the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework, using both a retrospective and a prospective cohort. The prospective group differed from the retrospective group in that an OT was present, and participated in the initial evaluation.Results:The domains of performance patterns (P = .007) and performance skills (P ≤ .001) were identified significantly more often when an occupational therapy practitioner participated in the initial evaluation.Conclusions:Rehabilitation professionals, such as OTs, play an important role in identifying impacted domains after a concussion, which can help optimize patient care.

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