Why is a team approach important when treating brain injury?
Treatment of traumatic brain injury is a team approach that takes a number of health professionals, from a physiatrist to a psychologist/neuropsychologist to physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, vocational counselor and so forth. It's not in isolation; you really need a well-coordinated, functioning team to take care of these individuals.
The reason for that is that traumatic brain injury is complex and really affects a lot of things and crosses all of those disciplines. So to get the best outcome, you need to focus on each individual problem that the person might be having, but then coordinate that as a team. You can’t be working in silos and still get the best outcomes.
Dr. Esselman is a professor of rehabilitation medicine and chief of rehabilitation medicine at Harborview Medical Center.