Collaborative care model for treatment of persistent symptoms after concussion among youth (CARE4PCS-II): Study protocol for a randomized, controlled trial

Trials. 2019 Sep 18;20(1):567. doi: 10.1186/s13063-019-3662-3.


Background: Currently, there is limited evidence to guide intervention and service delivery coordination for youth who suffer a concussion and subsequently experience persistent post-concussive symptoms (PCS) (Lumba-Brown et al. JAMA Pediatr 172(11):e182853, 2018; Lumba-Brown A et al. JAMA Pediatr 172(11):e182847, 2018). We have developed a collaborative care intervention with embedded cognitive-behavioral therapy, care management, and stepped-up psychotropic medication consultation to address persistent PCS and related psychological comorbidities. The CARE4PCS-II study was designed to assess whether adolescents with persistent symptoms after sports-related concussion will demonstrate better outcomes when receiving this collaborative care intervention compared to a usual care (control) condition.

Methods/design: This investigation is a randomized comparative effectiveness trial to receive intervention (collaborative care) or control (usual care). Two hundred sports-injured male and female adolescents aged 11-18 years with three or more post-concussive symptoms that persist for at least 1 month but less than 9 months after injury will be recruited and randomized into the study. The trial focuses on the effects of the intervention on post-concussive, depressive, and anxiety symptoms measured 3, 6, and 12 months after baseline.

Discussion: The CARE4PCS II study is a large comparative effectiveness trial targeting symptomatic improvements in sports injured adolescents after concussion. The study is unique in its adaptation of the collaborative care model to a broad spectrum of primary care, sports medicine, and school settings. The investigation incorporates novel elements such as the delivery of CBT through HIPAA complaint video conferenceing technology and has excellent widespread dissemination potential should effectiveness be demonstrated.

Trial registration:, NCT03034720 . Registered on January 27, 2017.

Keywords: Adolescent health; Cognitive-behavior therapy; Collaborative care; Concussion; Randomized trials; Sports injury.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries / psychology
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy*
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis
  • Brain Concussion / physiopathology
  • Brain Concussion / psychology
  • Brain Concussion / therapy*
  • Child
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Comparative Effectiveness Research
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Washington


  • Psychotropic Drugs

Associated data