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A Cognitive–Representational Approach to Patient Education After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Bay, Esther PhD, ACNS, BC, RN; Strong, Carrie PsyD, ABPP

doi: 10.1097/TME.0b013e3181e969a5

We propose that before implementing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Acute Concussion Evaluation protocol for mild traumatic brain injury, which includes self-monitoring and self-management activities, specific cognitive processes should be evaluated. These include determining the injured person's illness representation of the mild traumatic brain injury diagnosis, his or her capacity for help seeking, and attentional capacity for self-monitoring. Following this thorough assessment, an individualized follow-up action plan using the CDC clinical protocol can be implemented. Such an individualized action plan, at the point-of-care, has the potential to prevent the occurrence of postconcussion syndrome, and restore the injured person to preinjury functioning.

College of Nursing, Michigan State University, East Lansing (Dr Bay), and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Grand Rapids (Dr Strong), Michigan.

Corresponding Author: Esther Bay, PhD, ACNS, BC, RN, A417 W. Fee, E. Lansing, MI 48824 (

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.