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Concussion: Return to Work and Performance-Based Testing

presented by Matthew Dodson & Mark Showers

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Performance-based assessment offers a solution to difficulties found in both traditional concussion assessment as well as return to work rehabilitation. Performance-based assessments address concussion deficits from an ecologically valid, functional perspective, bridging the gap between “normal” objective testing results and patient reports of day-to-day deficits. This course presents an overview of the policies and procedures involved in return to work rehabilitation for individuals both with and without concussion. Practical components of return to work rehabilitation are emphasized, including how to interact with management or the human resources department, the role of short-term disability coverage, and how to establish the patient’s essential job functions. Interactive examples of three performance-based assessments are demonstrated: the Behavioral Assessment of Vocational Skills, the Complex Task Performance Assessment, and the Doll Chair Assembly Task. These interactive segments will empower the learner with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to address challenging clinical scenarios.

Meet Your Instructors

  • Matthew Dodson, OTD, OTR/L

    Dr. Matthew Dodson is an occupational therapist and an expert in evaluating objective and functional deficits from MTBI/concussion and other forms of mild brain injury in both civilian and military populations. With extensive experience at patient, supervisory, and policy levels, he specializes in designing multidisciplinary clinical assessment and intervention programming for mild brain injury. Leveraging his experience in designing and administering multiple high-visibility concussion programs for the Department of Defense (DoD), he now leads evaluation teams for TBI and Psychological Health program evaluation efforts nationwide. Additionally, he has experience in research policy design, literature review methodologies, and academic-medical partnership staffing. With multiple authorships and presentations, Dr. Dodson is an advocate of approaching concussion from a “deficits not diagnosis” approach. A proponent of the role a thorough functional interview plays when working with individuals with many forms of mild brain injury, Dr. Dodson has collaborated with multiple professional disciplines in developing and implementing innovative evaluation and treatment approaches. He is the owner-operator of Braintrust Services, LLC, and provides consultative services including forensic expert witness evaluation and testimony, concussion program development consultation, and independent client therapy service provision.

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  • Mark Showers, MSOT, OTR/L

    Mark Showers is an Occupational Therapist specializing in cognitive rehabilitation. Graduating from Washington University in St. Louis, Mark worked five years developing Work Hardening programming for worker’s compensation cases. Following this he developed a TBI Occupational Therapy department at a VA hospital. Since 2012 Mark has found a passion working with soldiers returning to duty following TBI or other traumatic injuries. Innovative, performance based evaluations and creative treatment design for mild head injury are hallmarks of Mark’s clinical and program development skill set.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Patient and Workplace Factors to Address Post-Concussion

    1. Patient and Workplace Factors to Address Post-Concussion

    In the first chapter of this course, Dr. Matthew Dodson discusses the importance of higher-level cognitive functions and addressing psychosocial constructs for a patient who intends to return to work post-concussion. He synthesizes the importance of addressing all patient factors within the framework of a position’s Essential Job Functions. Participants will also become familiar with how employer disability support systems can be utilized in return to work rehabilitation.

  2. Supporting the Return to Work Process

    2. Supporting the Return to Work Process

    In Chapter 2, Dr. Dodson discusses evaluation and treatment of the post-concussion worker. Participants will analyze the return to work prescription process. Understand how to advocate for traditional ADA accommodations for the post-concussion worker.

  3. Performance-based Testing of Concussion

    3. Performance-based Testing of Concussion

    Participants will analyze three critical components of workplace ecology as they pertain to return to work rehabilitation. Dr. Dodson synthesizes the importance of addressing all workplace ecology factors within the framework of a position’s Essential Job Functions. Finally, this chapter will review and discuss the importance of including a performance-based assessment in the evaluation of concussion.