Physical Examination Findings in Patients with Protracted Concussion and the Impact of an Integrative Concussion Rehabilitation Protocol
Purpose: To describe physical examination (PE) findings of individuals with protracted concussion recovery and evaluate an integrated primitive reflex (PR) disinhibition, vision, and vestibular rehabilitation intervention. Method: Retrospective study of 82 patients with protracted concussion (60.98% female) who received ≥ 2 phases of treatment. Following a baseline PE, patients completed the Post-Concussion Symptom Survey (PCSS), Activities-Based Balance Confidence Questionnaire (ABC), Dizziness Handicap Index (DHI), and Acquired Traumatic Brain Injury (aTBI) Vision Questionnaire. A subset of patients (Group 1), completed a final PE and second questionnaire administration. Descriptive statistics characterized the sample. T-tests and Wilcoxon rank sum tests compared characteristics of Group 1 vs Group 2. Wilcoxon sign rank tests assessed changes in patient-reported outcomes. Results: Patients in Groups 1 (median age=23.5) and 2 (median age=17.5) were similar regarding demographic and PE findings. Statistically and clinically significant improvements were seen for Group 1: PCSS (-21 points, MCID 6.8), DHI (-27 points, MDC 17.8, MCID 19), ABC (+ 8.5 points, MDC 9) and aTBI Vision Questionnaire (-16.5 points). Conclusion: Patients with protracted concussion recovery can benefit from a multitude of interventions ranging from orthopedic to vision and vestibular interventions in order to address objective deficits and subjective complaints such as headache, dizziness, or blurry vision following a concussion. Patients who completed the full intervention demonstrated clinically significant improvements in function, including return to school/work and recreational activities. These data suggest there is a potential positive benefit to a structured, integrative concussion rehabilitation approach for individuals with protracted concussion recovery.
Ziaks, L., Brown, C., & Iversen, M. (2021). Physical examination findings in patients with protracted concussion and the Impact of an integrative concussion rehabilitation protocol. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice (IJAHSP), 19(1), Article 6.
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