Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Improving training of healthcare providers boosts post-concussion care

Elizabeth Fuentes (left), physical therapist assistant, Fort Bliss Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, provides information and educates medical professionals about TBI symptoms, treatments and assessments, during the TBI Clinic’s open house event, in observance of Brain Injury Awareness Month. (U.S. Army photo by Marcy Sanchez) Elizabeth Fuentes (left), physical therapist assistant, Fort Bliss Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, provides information and educates medical professionals about TBI symptoms, treatments and assessments, during the TBI Clinic’s open house event, in observance of Brain Injury Awareness Month. (U.S. Army photo by Marcy Sanchez)

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury

What happens when the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center disseminates a new clinical recommendation? Is it adopted by practitioners? Does training health care providers lead to improved patient outcomes?

DVBIC scans the latest research about TBI findings, and then recruits TBI experts from the scientific community who meet regularly to develop clinical guidelines to inform health care decisions. This specialized function supports the Military Health System’s objectives of improving warfighter care and readiness. DVBIC is a division of the Defense Health Agency Research and Development Directorate.

These questions are at the heart of a recent study by DVBIC who asked whether teaching providers about state-of-the-science tools for concussion treatment improves patient care and rehabilitation. A concussion is a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Most traumatic brain injuries in the military are mild and most service members return to duty after recovering from their injuries.

The study compared two groups of TBI patients: those treated after primary care managers at various military hospitals received an interactive two-hour training, and those treated before providers received instruction. At the end of the study, patients completed a questionnaire that asked how soon they began to engage in physical and mental activity.

DVBIC found that patients in the group cared for by providers who had received the intensive training reported an overall reduction in symptoms after one week, one month and at three months, when compared to patients who were treated by the providers who had not yet received the intensive training.

This study highlights the importance of integrating research, clinical affairs, and education activities at DVBIC.

“One of the things that DVBIC has done, of late, is take many of our clinical tools . . . and actually study them,” Navy Captain Scott Pyne, DVBIC division chief. “The tools are based on the state-of-the-science, which is current research. Not only do we create the tool, but we throw it out there for the providers to use, and then we evaluate the effectiveness of its use. That's been very helpful.”

The “Progressive Return to Activity Following Acute Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury” clinical recommendation is focused on a six-stage approach to manage recovery.

The first stage involves rest, followed by light routine activity, light work-related activity, moderate activity, intensive activity, and finally unrestricted activity.

Each stage lasts a minimum of 24 hours and the service member should be re-evaluated each day. Patients with a mild TBI, often described as a concussion, should begin with less physical and mental activity and gradually move from one stage to the next.

“We have been able to show two critical things for military medicine,” said Jason Bailie, DVBIC’s senior clinical research director at Camp Pendleton. “Our frontline medical practitioners need to be taught how to treat concussed patients with a progressive return to activity approach” and “we can enhance our force readiness by helping our warfighters get better faster following a concussion.”

In addition to improved health among patients, the study finds more consistent treatment options offered by the trained physicians – including giving their patients special brochures focused on different parts of their rehabilitation. As one physician said in a post-study survey, “It’s been a pretty big difference, not only in my comfort with treating these patients, but educating them as well.”

Dr. Keith Stuessi, a DVBIC subject matter expert who provided the two-hour training sessions, underscored the implications of these findings for DVBIC’s future training efforts. “By doing this study, in this way,” Stuessi said, “we showed the effectiveness of this educational intervention.”

These findings could not be timelier. In June 2019, the U.S. Army directed medical personnel who would be treating patients with concussions use updated management tools designed by DVBIC, including the progressive return to activity process.

The progressive return to activity clinical suite is designed to help primary care managers, rehabilitation providers, and service members.

You also may be interested in...

TBI Hot Topics Bulletin March 2021

Publication
3/24/2021

Are you a busy health care provider? Not enough time to keep up with the latest TBI research trends and news? Stay informed with the TBI Hot Topics Bulletin. TBICoE tracks the latest TBI scientific studies, advances, and discoveries most relevant to health care providers. This issue covers the fourth quarter of calendar year 2020.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBICoE Research | Provider Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury

Ask the Doc: Hit Head Hiking

Article
3/17/2021
U.S. Marines with The Basic School, Headquarter and Service Battalion, hike Old Rag Mountain at the Shenandoah National Park, Madison County, Va., Nov. 7, 2018. The motivational hike was held in honor of the Marine Corps Birthday as well as Veterans’ Day. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Quinn Hurt)

Dear Doc: I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather last weekend and went out hiking with a few friends. As we were headed up a pretty steep incline, I fell and hit my head on a rock. It hurt pretty badly at the time, but being the “warrior” that I am, I brushed it off and we finished the hike. I haven’t been to a doctor yet, but now I'm having pretty painful headaches, and I’ve also been getting dizzy and nauseous. Did I have a concussion and, if so, what should I do next? — Hit Head Hiking

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Ask The Doc

Balancing rest, activity key to recovering from concussion

Article
3/17/2021
Two football teams facing off in the middle of a play

A newly revised suite of tools and resources for military health care providers will help improve the treatment of service members with concussions, and ensure their safe return to full duty.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness Month | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit

Military researchers gain new insights into brain injuries

Article
3/16/2021
Military personnel sitting at a table collecting data

Blast injury research helps to fill knowledge gaps about brain injury.

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness Month | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit

Army Announces FDA Clearance of Field Deployable TBI Blood Test

Article
3/12/2021
Military personnel standing in the snow preparing to fire a missile

The US Army announced Food & Drug Administration clearance of a field-deployable traumatic brain injury blood test.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness Month | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | TBI Information | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Health Innovation Month

HEADS: Protect Your Strongest Weapon

Publication
3/11/2021

This flyer promotes awareness of the key symptoms of concussion/mild TBI.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury

Distinguishing between TBIs, psychological conditions key to treatment

Article
3/10/2021
Military personnel holding a gun

Expert says long-lasting symptoms may be a sign of another issue.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | A Head for the Future | Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness Month | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | TBI and Total Force Fitness

Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness

Video
3/8/2021
DHA Seal

A TBI is a blow or jolt to the brain that can be life-altering if the symptoms are not recognized. If you or a loved one experience the symptoms mentioned in this video, speak to a health care professional for more information.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness Month | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit

New NICoE director sets an ambitious agenda for the future

Article
3/8/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask while talking to each other

The accomplished new leader of the NICoE and Intrepid Spirit Center network has plans for increased services and a higher profile for the unique care center.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness Month | TBI Education and Training Events | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Centers of Excellence

Updated tools and training improve TBI and concussion recovery

Article
3/3/2021
A group of military personnel wearing face mask working on laptop computers

Up-to-date clinical tools help diagnose and manage TBI on and off the battlefield.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBICoE Podcasts | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Month | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit

NICoE Brain Injury Awareness/March 2021Events

Publication
3/2/2021

The National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) is hosting a number of virtual events throughout March 2021 in observance of Brain Injury Awareness Month.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness Month | TBI Education and Training Events

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month; TBICoE’s mission lasts all year

Article
3/2/2021
Military health personnel performing a balance test on a patient

Staying a-head of TBI

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | A Head for the Future | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness Month | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Centers of Excellence

Progressive Return to Activity After Concussion Video

Video
2/25/2021
DHA Seal

The PRA is an evidence-based, easy-to-use approach to help providers return service members with mild TBIs back to duty safely. TBICoE researchers have found that, if medical providers completed a two-hour, in-person training on the use of the PRA, their patients saw an overall reduction in symptoms after one week, one month, and three months, when compared to patients treated by providers who had not received the training.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Provider Resources | TBI Educators | Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness Month | TBI Resources | TBI Screening

Returning to Duty After Concussion

Infographic
2/24/2021
What's the best way to recover from a concussion? Returning to duty too soon after a concussion can lead to prolonged symptoms, decreased readiness, poor marksmanship, accidents and falls, and increased risk of more concussions. Progressively increasing activity in a step-wise manner can help you resolve your symptoms and return to duty safely. Ask your primary health care provider about TBICoE's Progressive Return to Activity to help you return to duty as quickly and safely as possible. Visit health.mil/TBICoE.

This TBICoE infographic gives an overview of the risks of returning to duty too soon after a concussion and explains how a progressive increase in activity can help get you back to duty safely. Returning to duty too soon after concussion can lead to prolonged symptoms, poor marksmanship, decreased readiness, accidents and falls, and increased risk of more concussions.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness Month | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Patient and Family Resources | TBI Educators | Provider Resources | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit

Brain Injury Awareness Month "Be TBI Ready" Infographic

Infographic
2/24/2021
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Be TBI Ready. A traumatic brain injury—or TBI—is a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The severity of the TBI is determined at the time of the injury and may be classified as: mild, moderate, severe, or penetrating.

During Brain Injury Awareness Month, TBICoE and the MHS will promote the theme “Be TBI Ready” — recognizing that health care providers and others in the military community need to be aware of the latest educational trainings, research, fact sheets, and other available resources to prevent, diagnose, and treat TBI.

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness Month | Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 46 - 60 Page 4 of 15

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.