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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014 Mar;95(3 Suppl):S286-94. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.07.029.

Mild traumatic brain injury after motor vehicle collisions: what are the symptoms and who treats them? A population-based 1-year inception cohort study.

Author information

1
Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics, Odense, Denmark. Electronic address: jhartvigsen@health.sdu.dk.
2
Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
3
Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; Division of Epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Division of Health Care and Outcomes Research, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
4
School of Public Health and Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the 1-year course of symptoms following mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) sustained in a motor vehicle collision as well as patterns of care-seeking.

DESIGN:

One-year follow-up of a population-based inception cohort.

SETTING:

The province of Saskatchewan, Canada, with a population of about 1,000,000 inhabitants.

PARTICIPANTS:

Persons (N=1716) sustaining an MTBI during a car collision between November 1997 and December 1999.

INTERVENTIONS:

Not applicable.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

We report the prevalence of sleep disturbances, tiredness, dizziness, forgetfulness, vision problems, hearing problems, headache, neck pain, mid back pain, and low back pain at 6 weeks and 3, 6, 9, and 12 months postcollision. At the same time points, we report self-reported care-seeking from registered health care professionals.

RESULTS:

A total of 1716 adults suffered MTBI after a motor vehicle collision over the 2-year inception period. Six weeks after the collision, 75% reported having more than 3 symptoms and 30% had clinically significant pain in more than 3 body sites. Over time, the prevalence of symptoms and pain decreased but they were still common after 1 year. Almost all participants sought care for their symptoms at all time points, most commonly from a physician. Care-seeking from physiotherapists, chiropractors, and massage therapists was also very common, and most participants sought care from 2 or 3 providers at all follow-up points.

CONCLUSIONS:

Up to 1 year after sustaining an MTBI during a motor vehicle collision, multiple symptoms and pain in several anatomical sites are common. Care-seeking from multiple providers continues throughout the first year postinjury.

KEYWORDS:

Brain concussion; Cohort studies; Health care seeking behaviour; Rehabilitation

PMID:
24581914
DOI:
10.1016/j.apmr.2013.07.029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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