University of Tulsa Concussion Center offers new resources, support

TULSA, Okla., Sept. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — More than 75% of the 2.8 million traumatic brain injuries occurring each year in the United States are concussions, making it the most commonly diagnosed type of TBI, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Millions more people who suffer from concussions go undiagnosed.

The effects of concussion can be long lasting and serious, and misinformation can complicate treatment. Nearly half a million children and teens are treated every year in hospital emergency rooms for TBI, including concussion, according to the CDC.

To combat these staggering statistics, The University of Tulsa has created the Concussion Center to address management of recovery post-concussion.

The new center is an interdisciplinary initiative provides concussion education and rehabilitation, return-to-learn planning, return-to-physical-activity planning, cognitive rehabilitation, vestibular rehabilitation and concussion-related mental health management.

“Concussions can have a variety of effects: They can cause physical, cognitive, psychological and emotional changes. This complexity means that individuals with concussion benefit from support from multiple health care disciplines. In preparation for opening the center, we met with outstanding colleagues from Tulsa who help care for this population,” said Laura Wilson, associate professor of speech-language pathology.

Through those conversations, gaps in care were identified, including a lack of mental health support for those with concussion, as well as access to service for uninsured individuals.

Wilson and Rachel Hildebrand, clinical associate professor of athletic training, said the Concussion Center addresses those needs. Both faculty members have research and clinical interests in concussion/mild traumatic brain injury, as well as an understanding of the value of interprofessional education and practice.

“We see clients who have sustained a concussion or suspected concussion as early as 24 hours post injury, and we can also see individuals who are experiencing longer-term effects of a concussion,” Hildebrand said.

The center, which offers a national model to address concussions, also is part of students’ education at UTulsa. “It provides an opportunity for graduate students from speech-language pathology, athletic training and psychology to get clinical experience in a team-based health care environment,” Wilson said.

“We are working to expand this in the near-future to include other health-care disciplines. The center will provide an opportunity for students to engage in human subjects research in areas that range from prevention to education to assessment and treatment of concussion,” Hildebrand added.

For more information, please call the clinic at 918-631-2504.

SOURCE The University of Tulsa