The Challenge of Prolonged Post-Concussion Symptoms: Patient Education Efforts of the Canadian Concussion Centre

The Challenge of Prolonged Post-Concussion Symptoms: Patient Education Efforts of the Canadian Concussion Centre

Concussion disorders include the transient effects of a single concussion at the mildest end of the spectrum, to cases where symptoms persist for months and even years. In Ontario alone, the annual average number of concussions is estimated at 150,000. Given that about 15% of individuals who sustain a concussion experience symptoms beyond the normal recovery period of 3 months, this leaves a significant number of Canadians looking for treatment assistance each year. While there has been increased public awareness of concussion, no associated increase in funding has followed and there remains a dearth of publicly funded multidisciplinary team-based treatment. While we now have guidelines for post-concussion care, the prolonged symptoms that individuals may struggle with is heterogeneous and frustration remains over inconsistent medical advice, unproven, often pricey treatments and difficulty navigating the health care system. Our goal at the Canadian Concussion Centre was to develop sustainable evidence-based patient education to meet the needs of this underserved population and to provide tools to help individuals cope better with persistent symptoms. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, in person workshops (May 2014 – Nov 2019) were run quarterly that drew positive feedback such as participants feeling less alone. With the onset of COVID, a 25-session virtual webinar series on post-concussion symptoms was launched combining expert presentations with an opportunity for attendees to pose questions to the presenter. This virtual platform has allowed dissemination to a greater number of participants as well as national and international reach. This presentation will summarize our education experience to date, feedback obtained and our plans for future development.