How Occupational Therapists Can Help With a Concussion

Occupational therapists play a vital role in helping individuals with a concussion, considered a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), return to the daily activities that they need and want to do. Many adults with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) experience cognitive impairments that impact their ability to perform meaningful activities or fulfil their necessary roles at home, work, or school. Occupational therapists can assist clients in restoring, accommodating, or compensating for these cognitive impairments, that can affect one’s memory, attention, concentration, judgement, and executive function. Executive function includes planning, decision-making, problem-solving, and flexibility, among other processes. Research supports many cognitive interventions for individuals experiencing deficits in these processes post-concussion, and occupational therapists are well positioned to provide cognitive interventions supported by evidence.

A systematic review by Randomski, Anheluk, Bartzen, & Zola (2016) reported there is strong evidence to support the use of direct attention training, dual-task training, and strategy training to optimize executive functioning, encoding, and use of memory compensations, including assistive technology. They also reported occupational therapy intervention using cognitive remediation and strategy instruction approaches should be provided to adults with TBI. Occupational therapy practitioners are well positioned to lead this area of service delivery, within interdisciplinary clinical settings, such as The Armoury Sports Medicine & Performance Clinic. Our Registered Occupational Therapist, Jocelyn Schubert OT Reg. (Ont.), assists clients with cognitive changes associated with traumatic brain injury to remediate and compensate for these challenges, so they can return to their roles at home, work, and school.

Jocelyn Schubert
Occupational Therapist

Radomski, M. V., Anheult, M., Bartzen, M. P., & Zola, J. (2016). Effectiveness of Interventions to Address Cognitive Impairments and Improve Occupational Performance After Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70(3). doi: 10.5014/ajot.2016.020776

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