Simple Interventions After TBI Prove Highly Effective

Simple interventions — from regular exercise to the use of a "quiet room" — are practical, inexpensive, and effective.

What are you going to accumulate evidence on? Taking a clinical history? So what--do I think it's important for somebody, really, to do an in-depth interview or assessment of whether or not a person has had previous concussions? Yeah. Is there any evidence to support that assertion? No. Is it good clinical practice? Yes. If you're going to do an assessment, is it important to hit all four of the TBI benchmarks more than it is to--you know--assess other things? So if you really have a limited amount of time, [less] than you can go in there and do in a focused assessment? Yes, you could do that. Is there any evidence to that? No. Okay. So--I mean--I think there are a lot of ways in which you can do this. I think we know, for example, that practice and repetition are needed. We know, for example, that exercise is a beneficial intervention. So, getting people up and getting them running around tracks, getting them on treadmills, getting them on elliptical machines is a very viable intervention that--you know--isn't terribly expensive. I'm doing some work in Texas with kids who are incarcerated and was at lunch with them a couple weeks ago, and I was saying one of the things you could do with some of these kids when they have an emotional outburst is put them in a quiet room. Just take them out of the environment and put them--now, that's pretty simple. It doesn't cost any money, except you need a quiet room. I got a call from these folks--I had a call with these folks on Wednesday that since--they took what I was saying seriously, created a quiet room, and since they've done that there has been a 50 percent reduction in calls to security. Now, that's a no-cost intervention, no evidence that it works, okay, but it worked. I think a lot of the things that I'm talking about there is no evidence on. You know--there's no evidence that you need to have two sets of books. There's no evidence that Mom knowing what homework a child needs to do is going to decrease the frequency of the dog eating the homework. But we know these kinds of simple things are very effective.
Posted on BrainLine March 15, 2011.

About the author: Wayne Gordon, PhD

Wayne Gordon, PhD, ABPP/Cn, is the Jack Nash Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine and associate director of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is a neuropsychologist and the director of the Mount Sinai Brain Injury Research Center.

Dr. Wayne Gordon

Produced by Noel Gunther, Ashley Gilleland, Victoria Tilney McDonough, and Brian King.