Eliminate the Wait by offering timely access to appropriate information and guidance for those with concussion injury. This will include proactive and reactive measures, such as refining the predictive algorithms based upon patient symptoms and tests of who are at risk for more debilitating symptoms and developing sensitive tests to determine when normal activity can be resumed
The CAG was formed to address the growing and pressing needs of concussion injury patients, it is a unique partnership between patients/caregivers and the uOBMRI researchers/clinicians. Major challenges for concussion injury patients include timely access to care, predicting whether injury will lead to substantial deficits, and understanding of when activity can be resumed.
This group has come together to help drive change, to help other people navigate through a much clearer and an accessible system. Concussion injuries and brain injuries after accidents affect everyone, at any age and in an instance your entire life can change forever. Without the proper support, many people are left on their own trying to survive with little success at reintegrating. This group has come together to help change this. You can learn more about uOBMRI Concussion research and awareness efforts here.
The uOBMRI supports uOBMRI researchers as they work towards understanding the mechanisms behind concussion and improving access to care for concussion patients. Here are a few accomplishments to date:
- Dr. Roger Zemek has led the publication of the Living Guideline for Diagnosing and Managing Pediatric Concussion, which is the first ever guideline of its kind in the world. This guideline is frequently updated and gives physicians, caregivers and patients the latest evidence on best treatment practices
- Dr. Shawn Marshall also led the publication of the 3rd edition of Guidelines for Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury & Persistent Symptoms, which included the first ever interactive patient version with comprehensive tools and plans to manage symptoms
- Founded in 2019, the Post Concussion Research Consortium (PCRC) brings together researchers and clinicians in the Ottawa area dedicated to the advancement of impactful research on prevention, predictors, identification and management of concussion and post concussion syndrome in children, youth and adults. Through professional collaboration and consultation with patient advocates, the PCRC works towards creating positive changes for those struggling with concussion and persistent symptoms.
- In 2019, Dr. Jacquie van Ierssel developed the "Quality of Life" Questionnaire. Currently, concussion measurements are focused on the severity of symptoms, and do not fully account for a patient’s ability to function. Dr. van Ierssel has developed this questionnaire as a way to effectively measure impact of concussion on patient’s ability to function. Her theory is that functional status needs be focused on more than symptoms. This project is a unique Ottawa success as it was created in consultation with Concussion patients in the Ottawa community to ensure questionairre effectiveness and user accessibility. After furthering validity testing, this measurement tool can potentially improve concussion patient care.
The CAG group main goals are as follows:
“Eliminate the Wait”
Offering timely access to appropriate information and guidance for those with concussion injury. Information will be distributed using an interactive web portal that utilizes the symptoms of the patients and provides immediate appropriate information to patients, primary care physicians, and ER physicians. The portal will include an early triage capability (within days) that directs appropriate patients with urgent need immediately to the concussion injury clinics (adult and paediatric) in Ottawa. We will implement immediate triage assessments by an experienced nurse navigator, who will also provide active advice and information. Regular contact and updates will continue during the wait period to see the specialist.
“Predict who will suffer from concussion injury symptoms”
- Refining the predictive algorithms based upon patient symptoms and tests of who are at risk for more debilitating symptoms.
“Determine when you should resume normal activity”
- Developing sensitive tests beyond what is currently provided to inform patients/physicians if important deficits still exist.
- Reintegrating our patients; by focusing on the tools, support and individualized programs to improve the patient’s ability to reintegrate as quickly as possible.