Multimodal evaluation and management of children with concussion: using our heads and available evidence

Brain Inj. 2015;29(2):195-206. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2014.965210. Epub 2014 Oct 30.


Background: Significant attention has been focused on concussions in children, but a dearth of research evidence exists supporting clinical evaluation and management.

Aim: The primary objective of this review paper is to describe a multimodal, developmentally adapted, standardized concussion assessment and active rehabilitation approach for children as young as 5 years old.

Methods: This study reviews the CDC-funded research programme, including the development of tools for post-concussion symptom assessment involving the child and parent, measurement of specific neurocognitive functions and assessment of dynamic cognitive exertional effects.

Results: A clinical approach to active, individualized, moderated concussion rehabilitation management is presented, including a 10-step guide to symptom management, with a specific focus on the school challenges faced by the recovering student.

Conclusion: To better inform concussion practice across the developmental age spectrum, a significant need exists for further research evidence to refine clinical assessment methods and develop effective treatment approaches.

Keywords: Assessment; children; concussion; mild traumatic brain injury; rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries / complications
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Brain Concussion / complications
  • Brain Concussion / physiopathology
  • Brain Concussion / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Cognition Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Recovery of Function
  • School Health Services
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • United States