Pilot of a novel intervention for postconcussive symptoms in active duty, veterans, and civilians

  • King E
  • Kretzmer T
  • Vanderploeg R
 et al. 
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PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE: The authors present a study aimed at pilot testing a novel delivery method, namely a computer intervention, for postconcussive symptom reduction in active duty, veteran, and civilian patients with acute and chronic complaints. Following a concussion/mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), most individuals recover completely, but a significant proportion report postconcussive symptoms months to years following the injury. Psychoeducational intervention has shown to be effective in reducing postconcussive symptoms in studies done with acute civilian samples, but the efficacy of psychoeducational interventions with individuals who served in combat or have chronic complaints remains unclear.

RESEARCH METHOD/DESIGN: Twenty-five active duty, veteran, and civilian participants took part in this study. At baseline, each participant completed a self-run psychoeducational computer-based treatment. Participants were reassessed 1-month postintervention via phone to evaluate postconconcussive symptom severity.

RESULTS: Participants reported significantly fewer postconcussive symptoms at follow-up than baseline (d = .99). Intervention satisfaction was reported, with feedback related to ease of use and quality.

CONCLUSIONS/IMPLICATIONS: Extending previous studies, current findings demonstrated that psychoeducational intervention following MTBI was associated with postconcussive symptom complaint reduction in both acute and chronic patients. These data also confirm the feasibility of using computerized psychoeducation and speak to the importance of providing education to both acute and chronic patients across settings. Feedback from participants was generally positive. Further investigation with a control group is warranted.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Computer intervention
  • Mild TBI
  • Postconcussive symptoms
  • Psychoeducational intervention

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  • Emily G. King

  • Tracy S. Kretzmer

  • Rodney D. Vanderploeg

  • Sarah B. Asmussen

  • Veronica L. Clement

  • Heather G. Belanger

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