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Acute Brain Injury and Disorders of Consciousness: Assessment and Intervention

presented by Mary Beth Osborne

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This course covers physical therapy patient management at the early stages following brain injury and for people in the disorders of consciousness phase of recovery. Common complications, outcome measures and interventions will be explored. Case studies will provide examples of real life manifestation of many of the common issues experienced during this phase.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Mary Beth Osborne, PT, DPT, NCS

    Mary Beth Osborne PT, DPT, NCS earned her BS and doctorate in physical therapy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her area of clinical expertise is in adult neurologic rehabilitation including working with people following brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, and neurologic diseases. She has over 25 years of clinical experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Dr. Osborne has served as adjunct faculty at UNC Chapel Hill assisting with online and traditional classroom courses focusing on neurologic physical therapy and evidence based practice. She is currently working as a clinician at Duke University Medical Center on the outpatient team in adult neurology. Dr. Osborne is the current chair of the Brain Injury Special Interest Group for the Neurology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association and is a past member of the practice committee. She also has interest and expertise in using hippotherapy (using movements of a horse) as a treatment strategy for children and adults with neurologic conditions.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Pathophysiology and Acute Brain Injury

    1. Pathophysiology and Acute Brain Injury

    This chapter addresses the early days following brain injury. Learners will explore patient management in the intensive care unit and how the priorities of care shift as patients achieve medical stability. Categories of disorders of consciousness will be addressed including assessment tools and signs of emerging awareness.

  2. Assessment of Impairments and Functional Limitations

    2. Assessment of Impairments and Functional Limitations

    This chapter examines common tools used early in recovery including the Glasgow Coma Scale, the Coma Recovery Scale and the Ranchos Los Amigos (RLA) Scale of Cognitive Functioning. Learners will gain understanding of the categories of recovery included in disorders of consciousness (DOCs) and RLA stages and how to assess patients during these stages of recovery.

  3. Common Impairments

    3. Common Impairments

    This chapter highlights the many areas of potential impairment following brain injury including medical, communication, sensory, visual, cognitive, behavioral and motor. Learners will apply knowledge to the case of Andy and gain insight into expectations and prognosis based on his case.