Recent media coverage of injuries from professional sports and combat in Afghanistan and Iraq has heightened the public’s awareness of concussion. Rehabilitation practice has responded accordingly, developing evidence-based practices in acute symptom management for sideline and battlefield settings. This course identifies common physical, cognitive, and psychological clusters of symptoms seen in chronic concussion. It also explores how variable these symptom presentations can be, both between patients and over time. Guidance on how to address common interdisciplinary evaluation challenges is provided, including negotiating invalid testing results and addressing ecological validity concerns present in traditional evaluation approaches.
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.
In the first chapter of this course, Dr. Matthew Dodson discusses traditional symptoms resulting from concussion. Participants will review the variability in concussion symptoms and analyze the variations of recovery curves in concussion.
Chapter 2 discusses the challenges associated with evaluating concussion through traditional clinical approaches. Participants will review ecological validity and invalid testing and the role they play in evaluating concussion.
In Chapter 3, participants will learn the differences between Concussion and “Complex Concussion.” They will learn to analyze the potential for amplification or multiplication of symptoms in the “Complex Concussion” patient and review common comorbidities seen alongside concussion.
In the final chapter of this course, Dr. Matthew Dodson discusses the importance of cognitive symptom self-report in the concussion patient. He compares and contrasts common cognitive deficit presentation in concussion and complex concussion. He also reviews the similarities and differences of cognitive symptom response to rehabilitation in both concussion and complex concussion.