According to the Centers for Disease Control and Injury Prevention, the leading causes of Traumatic Brain Injury are:
Depending on the cause and the type of brain injury, the location of the brain that is injured, the severity of the injury, the age of the person and many other factors, the person may or may not experience the following symptoms or manifest with the following characteristics::
NHU has received reviews of research on various new interventions for persons with brain injury. The following articles discuss interventions that are fairly new or at least need more research and replication. They all cover relatively simple interventions that may be something a human service worker would be involved in or exposed to. All of these interventions are non-pharmacological. Click on the links below to view the NHU summary article on each research.
This article discusses the effects of a Tai Chi Qigong exercise intervention with people who have brain injuries. Tai Chi Qigong was chosen because it is an easier to master form of Tai Chi Chuan and does not require extraordinary physical fitness or cognitive abilities and therefore is suitable for people with brain injuries. People with head injuries often suffer from difficulties with low self-esteem, sedentary lifestyle, mood problems, and behavior problems. The goal of the exercise intervention is to see if the conditions of those characteristics can be improved in the injured persons. The authors describe the benefits of Tai Chi Qigong as positive impacts in balance, coordination, and movement. They point out that sedentary lifestyles common to people with brain injuries can lead to “secondary disease” (Blake & Batson, 2009) such as diabetes. Although the results show that physical activity was not improved by this intervention, the persons did find an improvement in mood. More research and replication is needed to learn more about the effects of Tai Chi Qigong exercise intervention for people who have brain injuries.
This research goal was to find the efficacy of handheld personal digital assistants (PDAs) as cognitive aids for people with brain injuries. The authors did an 8 week trial of the use of PDAs (the Handspring Visor and the Palm Zire 31) with no extra software installed by people with traumatic brain injury. The major occupational problems were within 4 categories: “forgetting appointments, time and task management, money management, and medication management” (Gentry, et al., 2008). Subjects were shown to improve in the areas of everyday life task functioning and in cognitive independence, mobility, and occupation. The authors pointed out that behavioral memory, or remembering when important things in life should be done such as taking medication or going to an appointment, is often compromised in people with brain injuries. This can lead to deficiencies in areas such as self efficacy and employment. The data of this research showed that subjects improved in cognitive independence, mobility, and occupation. This study, however, needs further research.
Previous research had not been able to show that there were definite improvements in daily functioning for people with brain injuries who had participated in previous Internet interventions. This study was a pilot study in order to test the feasibility of offering rehabilitative services over the Internet for people with brain injuries. This study explored the option of Internet based interventions to bridge the gap to services for people with limited mobility or who live in rural areas. Most of the subjects were able to regularly attend their online sessions. People close to the subjects all reported that they had been able to access the online sessions independently. For well educated clients with computer and Internet access, online services could be considered. However, more research needs to be done and results need to be replicated with a larger and more varied sample. (Bergquist, et al., 2008)
Organizations and websites that provide information about Brain Injury.
For more on the topic of Brain Injury.
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