Clinical practitioner research fellowship (2018 funding round)

Dr Deborah Snell
Canterbury District Health Board
Management of psychological factors after mild traumatic brain injury
60 months

Lay summary

Concussion is very common and topical in New Zealand, with more than 30,000 New Zealanders sustaining concussions annually. It is concerning that up to 50 per cent of people experience symptoms, loss of function and reduced quality of life for many months and even years after their concussion. We have previously shown that psychological factors such as anxiety, depression, recovery expectations and resilience, are important but are often neglected in clinical practice until difficulties have become chronic and disabling. This research will build on our previous work identifying not only which psychological factors predict outcomes, but also why. Using this knowledge, we will develop a clinical practice guideline for New Zealand concussion clinics. The guideline will assist frontline non-specialist clinicians to more efficiently identify and manage psychological and psychosocial factors. Finally, we will trial the guideline to determine barriers to using this tool in clinical practice, ahead of a wider implementation strategy.

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