Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: An Update for Advanced Practice Nurses

Esther Bay, PhD APRN BC CCRN; Samuel A. McLean, MD MPH

Disclosures

J Neurosci Nurs. 2007;39(1):43-51. 

In This Article

Summary

APNs are in key positions to uncover presenting signs and symptoms of mild TBI. Screening tools developed by the CDC can guide this process and identify retrospectively whether neurological impairment occurred at the time of the accident. However, the APN must also consider other potential differential diagnoses (e.g., mood disorder, headache associated with muscular skeletal impairment, or balance problems associated with eighth cranial nerve dysfunction) that can complicate the symptom experience for the injured person. Generally, diagnostic testing is not sensitive to mild TBI, but research is underway to identify screening tests that can be used to diagnose and predict the treatment outcomes. Currently, there are suggestions that cognitive rehabilitation therapies are useful in improving the outcomes and quality of life for persons with mild injury, although there is a need for larger clinical trials showing these relationships.

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