Gaps in Care Post Discharge for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

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There are considerable gaps in follow-up care for patients with mild traumatic brain injury who have been discharged from the hospital.
There are considerable gaps in follow-up care for patients with mild traumatic brain injury who have been discharged from the hospital.

HealthDay News — There are considerable gaps in follow-up care for patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) who have been discharged from the hospital, according to a study published online May 25 in JAMA Network Open.

Seth A. Seabury, Ph.D., from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a cohort study using data for patients with mTBI. The authors examined site-specific variations in follow-up care and characteristics associated with receipt of follow-up care. Data were included for 831 patients who completed follow-up surveys at two weeks and three months after injury.

The researchers found that fewer than half of the patients reported receiving TBI educational materials at discharge or seeing a physician or other health care practitioner within three months after injury (42 and 44 percent, respectively). Across sites, there was variation in follow-up care, with provision of educational materials varying from 19 to 72 percent after adjustment for patient characteristics. Thirty-nine percent of the 236 patients with a positive finding on computed tomography (CT) scan had not seen a medical practitioner three months after the injury. Only 52 percent of the 279 patients with three or more moderate-to-severe post-concussive symptoms reported having seen a medical practitioner by three months.

"There are gaps in follow-up care for patients with mTBI after hospital discharge, even those with a positive finding on CT or who continue to experience post-concussive symptoms," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, medical device, and other industries.

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