ACRM BI-ISIG Disorders of Consciousness Family Education Guide

ACRM BI-ISIG DoC Family Education Committee
ACRM BI-ISIG Disorders of Consciousness logo

This guide is for families who have a loved one that has experienced a severe brain injury that has resulted in a low level of arousal, responsiveness, and awareness of self and others. This condition after severe brain injury is called “Disorders of Consciousness” or “DoC.”

Disorders of Consciousness (DoC) can be difficult to understand. Many families may ask, “Why isn’t my loved one waking up?” The following educational resources will help to answer those questions as well as many others related to the injury, diagnosis, prognosis, resources available, and care of your loved one after severe brain injury.

The resources/website links included have been reviewed and vetted by experts in the brain injury field as accurate to ensure you as a family are getting factual information about severe brain injury.

This is a small portion of the full ACRM Severe Brain Injury Family Education Guide which BrainLine will offer in the near future:

What Are Disorders of Consciousness?

Introductory information about “disorder of consciousness” (DoC), a group of conditions that involve difficulty with awareness that includes coma, unresponsive wakefulness syndrome/vegetative state, and minimal conscious state.

What Part of the Brain Is Damaged in a Person with a Disorder of Consciousness (DoC)?

Information about how the brain works, the types of injuries that cause DoC, and common tests used to identify brain damage.

What Types of Treatments Can Facilitate Recovery in People with Disorders of Consciousness (DoC)?

Information on some treatments for disorders of consciousness (DoC), who may be involved in their treatments and what they do, and kinds of medications that may be helpful.

Will My Loved One Regain Consciousness and What Should I Expect for My Loved One’s Recovery?

Information on what to expect and what behaviors to look for in your loved one, and information on specialty care rehabilitation programs for people with DoCs.

What Is Caregiver Fatigue and Burnout?

Information and resources to help educate caregivers on the causes, symptoms, and prevention methods of caregiver burnout.

Posted on BrainLine July 17, 2023.

American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) Brain Injury Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group (BI-ISIG) Disorders of Consciousness Family Education Committee (2022). ACRM Severe Brain Injury Family Education. [Unpublished]

Publication of this article on BrainLine was made possible thanks to funding from JoJo's CauseShepherd Center, and Susan Johnson, M.A.