"Mild TBI" Versus "Concussion": Reactions Based on Terminology

Using appropriate terminology does, in my opinion, affect the outcome. The person who feels that they may have a significant brain injury is going to be more anxious and stressed during their recovery. Typically, with younger people we like to use the word concussion to describe what has happened to them rather than using the term mild traumatic brain injury. But generally throughout my own practice, I prefer to, again, use the word concussion if I believe it's a very mild injury and that the person has great potential to make a full recovery within about 3 months of their injury. I don't want to traumatize them anymore by talking about brain injury. I want to talk about the thing that they see every Sunday on TV, and that is a concussion you can return to normal from.

No need to add more stress and anxiety by using the term "mild brain injury" instead of "concussion."

See more videos with Dr. Jeffrey Barth.

Posted on BrainLine October 20, 2010. Reviewed December 20, 2017.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough and Brian King, BrainLIne.