Public awareness of concussion and its consequences is in the news a lot lately. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported to congress about concussion. The goal was to improve statistics about concussion, to improve evaluation of rehabilitation and to improve rehabilitation research and service delivery. The full report is available.
CDC was asked by Congress to address the need for evidence-based guidelines for TBI rehabilitation. The development of guidelines is a systematic process in which a panel of experts assesses the scientific literature to produce practice recommendations. Ideally, any guidelines developed will help clinicians to make evidence-based decisions supported
The report concluded that “Understanding the epidemiology of TBI, its associated consequences, and the availability and effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions are crucial to improving the quality of life of those with a TBI. Prevention is the key public health strategy to reduce the burden of TBI. However, because preventing all TBIs is impossible, an imperative for those in public health practice, clinical practice, and research is to design and evaluate effective strategies to mitigate the health effects of TBI. Maintaining a comprehensive and coordinated system of rehabilitation interventions is critical to achieve this end. Considerable progress has been made in identifying effective rehabilitation interventions after a TBI, but much work remains to be done.
Riding concussions are no more preventable than those in the rest of life. Use of properly fitted certified helmets are our best protection. Horses continue to be a key part of therapeutic riding for those recovering from TBI. The PATH International organization is a premier source for information on these programs.