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Preliminary efficacy and predictors of response to a remotely-delivered symptom self-management program for persistent symptoms after concussion.

Brain Injury 2023 July 16
BACKGROUND: More than a quarter of adults with concussion endure prolonged symptoms of >3 months. We developed the Concussion Education Self-Management program to help people manage persisting symptoms. Here, we assess feasibility, preliminary efficacy, and correlates of response.

METHODS: N  = 80 adults participated in the program; ages ranged from 18 to 65 years and time post-injury ranged from 6 months to 18 years. Weekly sessions, delivered remotely and in groups, comprised education and strategies for management of cognitive, emotional, and physical symptoms. Primary outcome: Confidence to self-manage symptoms. Secondary outcomes: Quality of life; mood/anxiety/stress. Predictors of response: Self-reported cognitive, emotional and physical symptoms at intake.

RESULTS: Pre- to post-program improvements were observed in confidence to self-manage, p  < 0.03; quality of life, p  < 0.001; depression, p  < 0.001; anxiety, p  < 0.001; and stress, p  < 0.001. Considering confidence to self-manage, those with fewer cognitive and physical symptoms benefitted more ( p's < 0.0005 and p  < 0.01, respectively).

DISCUSSION: This program shows promise for improving self-management of prolonged symptoms. Those with high symptom burden may need extra sessions to benefit. This is a cost-effective and scalable program that can reach people regardless of geographic location or impediments to travel.

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