Cognitive Screening in Mild Brain Injury

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A study of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries was performed to determine if cognitive screening in the acute care setting can identify patients who will have cognitive dysfunction following discharge to home. While still hospitalized, 166 patients were assessed with a cognitive screening tool. After discharge, telephone follow-up contacts were made by a nurse to assess for subjective reports of cognitive difficulties. A subsample (N=39) received additional comprehensive cognitive evaluation after discharge. Statistically significant results were noted between cognitive screen and cognitive evaluation results (chi-square=24.28, p<.0000) and between cognitive screen results and follow-up findings (chi-square=6.7, p=.0350). Study results support the use of cognitive screening in the acut e care setting to identify patients with mild traumatic brain injury who are likely to experience residual cognitive deficits after discharge so appropriate intervention may be planned.

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