Author(s): Haboubi NH, Long J, Koshy M, Ward AB
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Abstract PURPOSE: It is known that post-concussive symptoms may persist after mild head injury. However, the majority of those patients are denied follow-up or support. A minor head injury clinic was thus established in North Staffordshire Hospital in 1993 to address these problems. METHODS: Patients 16-65 years old attending hospital with minor head injury were invited to attend the clinic two weeks after presentation. A specialized brain injury nurse and/or assistant clinical psychologist assessed them. Patients with persistent symptoms were invited to a second assessment four weeks later. RESULTS: One thousand two hundred and fifty-five patients were invited for first assessment, the most common cause of head injury was assault (454) followed by road traffic accident (334). Six hundred and sixteen patients did not attend the first assessment; most of non-attendees were those who had been assaulted (281). Six hundred and thirty-nine patients attended, (472) were male, their mean age was 33. Forty-three per cent of them had history of recent alcohol intake. One third had had a previous head injury. Although 391 attendees were in regular employment, 219 patients were unable to return to work 2 weeks after discharge (56\%), and 49 people were still off sick 6 weeks after the injury. The most common complaints at both assessments were fatigue, headache, dizziness, irritability, sleep disturbances, poor concentration and poor memory in that order. CONCLUSION: This study shows a significant number of patients with minor head injury still complaining of post concussive symptoms, which may contribute to a delay in return to work. The high incidence of non-attendance among the assaulted victims may indicate that this group needs to be more effectively targeted. Further study to look at the longer-term consequences of minor head injury is required in view of these findings.
This article was published in Disabil Rehabil
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation