Individuals with traumatic brain injury experience an initial period of disorientation and inability to lay down new memories. This is known as post-traumatic amnesia (PTA). Patients are generally given very little therapy while in PTA to minimise the risk of agitation. No studies have evaluated the effectiveness of therapy to enhance independence in activities of daily living during PTA.
Funding: $410,000. Funded under the ‘Bench to Bedside’ priority of the Neurotrauma Research Program
Chief Investigator: Professor Jennie Ponsford, Monash University
Commencement date: January 2014.
Anticipated conclusion date: June 2017
To better understand the processes of assessing patients in Post Traumatic Amnesia (PTA) and to evaluate the effectiveness of therapy to enhance independence in activities of daily living provided during PTA.
Benefits of project
Current practice is to minimise therapy during PTA to avoid agitation. This project will explore whether additional therapy in this phase reduces PTA duration and the time to attain functional independence or whether current guidelines to avoid to non-essential therapy are appropriate.
Introducing daily living activities during PTA has the potential to reduce the length of stay in hospital and improve patient outcomes within three to five years.
Duration of PTA is the strongest injury-related measure of long-term functional outcome in survivors of TBI and long-term care costs. Given the importance of PTA as a prognostic indicator following TBI and current lack of understanding of PTA, in terms of both its processes and potential for benefit from therapy, the research will provide world-first invaluable evidence.