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Collaborative Care Approach Reduces Post-Concussive Symptoms in Teens

Collaborative Care Approach Reduces Post-Concussive Symptoms in Teens

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Sports-related concussions are a growing concern among parents due to concerns about long-term health problems. In fact, some teenagers who suffer a concussion will experience persistent post-concussive symptoms that can cause chronic pain, depression and anxiety.

A study, “Collaborative Care for Adolescents with Persistent Postconcussive Symptoms: A Randomized Trial” published in the October 2016 Pediatrics (published online Sept. 13), found that adolescents with persistent post-concussive symptoms who received collaborative care, including integrated care management and cognitive-behavioral therapy, experienced a significant reduction in their post-concussive symptoms and function after six months compared to adolescents in standard care.

The study was designed to test whether a collaborative treatment model, which integrates medical and behavioral health care for chronic disorders with both physical and psychological symptoms, would relieve symptoms compared to care as usual. Researchers tracked treatment of 48 patients split between the collaborative treatment model and a control group. All patients in the study displayed considerable symptom reduction over six months, but patients who received collaborative care continued to make symptom reduction gains between three and six months, while the control group plateaued.

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Authors concluded that the study provides evidence for the application of a collaborative care model for post-concussive symptoms, but suggest larger scale randomized clinical trials are needed in this understudied and critical aspect of adolescent medicine.

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