Do Patients With TBI Receive Follow-Up Care After ED Discharge?

Bottom Line: Many patients treated in the emergency department for mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) don’t receive educational materials at discharge or see clinicians for follow-up care.

Why The Research Is Interesting: Millions of people experience mild TBIs each year. While some recover completely, many have persistent symptoms that can interfere with their everyday life and may require additional medical care.

Who and When: 831 patients treated for mild TBI in emergency departments (EDs) at 11 large trauma centers; this study used data on patients enrolled from 2014 to 2016 in the Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) study

What (Study Measures): Follow-up care was defined as hospitals providing TBI educational materials at discharge, hospitals calling patients to follow-up, and patients seeing a physician or other clinician within three months of injury

How (Study Design): This was an observational study. Researchers were not intervening for purposes of the study and cannot control all the natural differences that could explain the study findings.

Authors: Seth A. Seabury, Ph.D., of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and coauthors

Results: 

Study Limitations: Relatively small number of study sites and all were university-affiliated, which may limit generalizability of the findings; self-reported patient follow-up care

Study Conclusions:

Related Material: The invited commentary, “Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Clarion Call for Care of the Postconcussive Spectrum,” by Mary Iaccarino, M.D., of Harvard Medical School, Boston, also is available on the For The Media website.

For more details and to read the full study, please visit the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0210)