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RJ Elbin, PhD: “So, I have used this, as I mentioned from the data that I published, I have a network of five to seven high schools, depending on the year, that we follow kids that get concussions. It’s more of a community-based research and surveillance clinical sports medicine network here. And we’re using this serially, like repeated times throughout recovery. Athletic trainers are using it. So athletic trainers have used this as a supplement to their clinical practice. So, I mean, we talked about the paper, I didn’t get into the nitty gritty statistics, but I think selling it as, hey, there’s clinical profiles. And one of the questions that we really need to address with clinical profiles is, in thinking about the injury in these kinds of subtypes, where do the roles start and stop, in terms of practitioners?
So, what is the role of an athletic trainer? Is the athletic trainer, they’re commonly in the trenches, right? So are they detect and then refer out? Or should they be using some of these tools to better understand which one of these profiles needs to be referred immediately, right? Or which of the ones could be managed for a bit with behavioral regulation, low cost, non-pharmacological approach of just regulating someone’s behaviors, sleep, diet, hygiene, sleep hygiene, diet hydration, stress. So, as far as using it, and really getting, I mean, what’s going to happen is your colleagues or your constituents are going to start to use this and they’re going to ask, “Well, what does this mean?” Right. “What do I do if I have someone that scores really high in this one profile area?” Now, depending on the resources, we’ve established we have really good resources here in Northwest Arkansas for some things, but then other things we’re lacking. So, that’s the current struggle, is now you have this information, what do you do with it?
If you’re fortunate enough to live in close proximity to someone like Dr. Pardini or Dr. Collins, Dr. Womble, people that are across the country, some of these more specialty centers and programs, it’s easy, right. But it’s not always the best option. But I’ve had success in just presenting this measure to practitioners that are out in the area and have them use it for a while. And I keep the conversation open and provide them with some education. Maybe some of the articles that I alluded to, just some background readings, and yeah. It sounds a bit therapeutic, right?
People have loved it. Athletic trainers have really liked it. And some of the team physicians here at University of Arkansas have started to use it, and they really can understand when to push, when not to push, and really match each of those profiles with those approaches. And again, it’s not perfect. I mean, you still have the individual there, and the person, so we don’t really treat concussion or manage it with a cookbook. Right. I mean, there are lots of different combinations of risk factors and presentations that a clinician needs to consider.”
RESOURCES & LINKS:
R.J. Elbin, PhD
Dr. R.J. Elbin is an Associate Professor in Exercise Science at the University of Arkansas and is director of the Office for Sport Concussion Research. Dr. Elbin’s research focuses on 1) examining the neurocognitive, physical, and psychosocial effects of sport-related concussion in youth and adolescent populations; 2) identifying factors that influence risk and recovery from sport-related concussion; and 3) documenting best practices for the clinical assessment, management, and treatment of concussion. Dr. Elbin has authored/co-authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications and 150 professional presentations on sport-related concussion. Dr. Elbin was a 2018 recipient of an Early Career Award from the Sport Neuropsychological Society for his work in concussion research.
Jamie Pardini, PhD
Dr. Jamie Pardini is a Neuropsychologist and Clinical Associate Professor at the Sports Medicine and Concussion Specialists division of Banner University Medical Center-Phoenix. Prior to arriving at Banner, Dr. Pardini was Assistant Professor and Neuropsychologist for the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She began her post-doctoral fellowship and academic career at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program, where she spent more than 9 years working solely with sport-related concussion and mild traumatic brain injury, managing the care and return-to-play of thousands of athletes.
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