Empowering the primary care provider to optimally manage mild traumatic brain injury

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Abstract

Purpose:

This article provides current, evidence-based information regarding the management of mild traumatic brain injuries for the primary-care provider.

Data sources:

Literature review of the evidence-based literature, including peer-reviewed articles and reviews of publishedrandomized controlled trials and clinical practice guidelines.

Conclusions:

There are lessons to learn from the civilian and military care of mild traumatic brain injuries. As acute injury management improves and more patients survive their trauma to live in the chronic-care community setting, primary care clinicians will be responsible for providing and coordinating total care. A team approach is required to meet the unique clinical and personal challenges these patients face.

Implications for practice:

These patients are at risk of receiving suboptimal care once released to the community, in part due to an incomplete understanding of the condition by primary care providers. Other difficulties in recommending care for these patients include nonuniform clinical terminology, the lack of a uniform set of diagnostic criteria, and the lack of endorsed professional society guidelines. A clinical practice toolkit is provided to assist the primary care provider to optimize delivery of comprehensive care for this population in the community.

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