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J Rehabil Med. 2004 Feb;(43 Suppl):76-83.

Non-surgical intervention and cost for mild traumatic brain injury: results of the WHO Collaborating Centre Task Force on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

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Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation Medicine, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.


We examined the evidence for non-surgical interventions and for economic costs for mild traumatic brain injury patients by a systematic search of the literature and a best-evidence synthesis. After screening 38,806 abstracts, we critically reviewed 45 articles on intervention and accepted 16 (36%). We reviewed 16 articles on economic costs and accepted 7 (44%). We found some evidence that early educational information can reduce long-term complaints and that this early intervention need not be intensive. Most cost studies were performed more than a decade ago. Indirect costs are probably higher than direct costs. Studies comparing costs for routine hospitalized observation vs the use of computerized tomography scan examination for selective hospital admission indicate that the latter policy reduces costs, but comparable clinical outcome of these policies has not been demonstrated. The sparse scientific literature in these areas reflects both conceptual confusion and limited knowledge of the natural history of mild traumatic brain injury.

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