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TBI Resources for Medical Providers

TBICoE develops practical, easy-to-use clinical recommendations and tools to support military and civilian health care providers in assessing and treating service members and veterans who have sustained a TBI. Providers can access clinically relevant information and resources that address common symptoms associated with mild TBI, such as headache, sleep disturbances, and vision problems. Most clinical recommendations have related patient resources to help educate patients through recovery. Check out the Patient and Family Resources section to locate fact sheets, patient resources, and family and caregiver support tools.

Interested in learning more about the potential effects of low-level blast exposure? Discover which occupations and heavy weapon systems are associated with increased risk of LLB exposure and learn how to best document, manage, and care for your patients—to optimize warfighter brain health.

TBI educators, known as regional education coordinators, are available to provide training on our clinical recommendations and tools. Check out TBICoE's Education and Training Events page for details or email the team to schedule specific trainings for yourself or your team. Supplemental Provider Education materials are also available.

Acute Concussion Care Pathway

In order to standardize acute concussion assessment and care across the MHS, DHA established the Acute Concussion Care Pathway as part of the FY21 Quadruple Aim Performance Plan.

The goal of the ACC Pathway is to improve recovery times and outcomes by utilizing a multi-modal assessment tool at the time of injury—the Military Acute Concussion Evaluation version 2—and to ensure timely access to repeat evaluations with personalized treatment protocols in alignment with a progressive return to activity process. By establishing a standard pathway of care for mild TBI, providers across the MHS can ensure a reduction in unwarranted variation and foster an integrated system of readiness and health.

Supporting the goal of the ACC Pathway, the DHA Procedural Instruction 6490.04, titled “Required Clinical Tools and Procedures for Assessment and Clinical Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury /Concussion in Non-Deployed Setting,” establishes the DHA's required clinical tools and procedures for management of mild TBI, or concussion, in a non-deployed setting. Specifically, the use of the MACE 2 and a PRA framework for the assessment, management, and rehabilitation of all patients with a mild TBI.

The ACC Pathway—a standardized assessment and treatment plan for acute concussion, mandates:

  1. Use of the MACE 2 for acute assessment at the initial appointment 
  2. Follow-up within 72 hours after diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury
  3. Completion of a progressive return to activity process prior to return to full duty

This infographic and educational video focus on standardizing the nomenclature for the ACC Pathway, delineating how each element intertwines to meet the objective of improving concussion outcomes across the MHS. 

What is the Acute Concussion Care Pathway? The Acute Concussion Care Pathway is one of the DHA Director’s Quadruple Aim Performance Plan projects. The intent is to equip providers with state-of-the-science tools to standardize concussion assessment and care across the MHS. It is supported by the DHA Procedural Instruction 6490.04 which establishes the infrastructure to ensure patients achieve optimal concussion clinical outcomes.  What is the Acute Concussion Care Pathway?

Download the ACC Pathway Infographic

TBICoE also offers a quarterly "Application of Acute Concussion Care Pathway: MACE 2 & PRA" virtual training. Attendees may earn two CEUs through the Defense Health Agency Continuing Education Program Office.

The DOD published the DODI 6490.11, "DOD Policy Guidance for Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion in the Deployed Setting" establishing policy, assigning responsibilities, and providing procedures on the management of mild TBI, also known as concussion, in the deployed setting.

TBICoE's MACE 2, PRA clinical recommendation, Recurrent Concussion Evaluation, and ICD-10 Coding Guidance for TBI support the ACC Pathway, the DHA-PI 6490.04, and the DODI 6490.11 and are available for download below.

 

MACE 2

The 2018 MACE 2 is an acute assessment tool for all medically trained personnel who treat service members involved in a potentially concussive event. The clinical tool incorporates current state-of-the-science traumatic brain injury information, including vestibular-ocular-motor screening.

Download the MACE 2 and supporting materials.

 

Progressive Return to Activity

The 2021 Progressive Return to Activity: Primary Care for Acute Concussion Management clinical recommendation is an evidence-based return to activity protocol for primary care managers and concussion/TBI clinic providers.

Download the Progressive Return to Activity: Primary Care for Acute Concussion Management clinical recommendation and Patient and Leadership Guide.

 

Recurrent Concussion Evaluation

Download the Recurrent Concussion Evaluation

 

ICD-10 Coding Guidance for TBI

Download the ICD-10 Coding Guidance for TBI

Clinical Recommendations and Support Tools for Mild TBI

TBICoE optimizes clinical care by combining evidence from medical literature, health care research, and expert opinion to develop and provide clinical recommendations and tools to help providers deliver evidence-based treatment and address the challenges associated with mild TBI.

  • Clinical recommendations provide guidance on assessing and managing mild TBI symptoms.
  • Clinical support tools offer an algorithmic approach to evaluating, managing, and referring mild TBI patients for specialty care.
  • Training material to show providers how to identify and treat patients with mild TBI-related symptoms.
  • Fact sheets and patient guides that provide tips and tools to help service members and veterans cope with a mild TBI.
 

*NEW* Neuroendocrine Dysfunction Following Concussion/Mild TBI Provider Fact Sheet

Learn more and download this new provider tool here!

Neuroendocrine Dysfunction Screening Following Concussion/Mild TBI

 

Neuroimaging Following Concussion/Mild TBI

 

Dizziness and Visual Disturbances Following Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

 

Sleep Disturbances Following Concussion/Mild TBI

 

Headache Following Concussion/Mild TBI

 

Cognitive Rehabilitation Following Mild to Moderate TBI

 

Neurocognitive Assessment Tool (NCAT) Testing Following Concussion/Mild TBI

 

Additional Clinical Support Tools

TBICoE also offers the following tools to assist in the identification, treatment and management of patients with mild TBI in deployed and non-deployed settings.

Find and download the additional tools here.

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Fact Sheet
Sep 14, 2022

Neuroendocrine Dysfunction Following Concussion/Mild TBI Provider Fact Sheet

.PDF | 168.72 KB

The Neuroendocrine Dysfunction Following Concussion/Mild TBI Provider Fact Sheet, developed by TBICoE, is a one page document that gives primary care managers (PCMs) an overview of neuroendocrine dysfunction (NED) that can occur after concussion, or mild TBI. It highlights conditions with overlapping symptoms, screening and treatment considerations, ...

Video
Jul 18, 2022

Interview with the SEAC: TBI from a Joint Perspective

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In this episode of Picking Your Brain, Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence Branch Chief Capt. Scott Cota and clinical moderator Amanda Gano interview the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (SEAC), Ramón Colón-López. The discussion covers the health impacts of TBI and blast-related concussion stemming from the ...

Publication
Oct 22, 2021

Assessment and Management of Dizziness and Visual Disturbances Following Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

.PDF | 736.31 KB

This clinical recommendation provides medical staff with a single, comprehensive reference for the assessment and management of dizziness and visual disturbances following mild TBI/concussion. Dizziness and visual disturbances often present with overlapping symptoms and should prompt a provider to perform a visual and dizziness—or vestibular—assessment.

Publication
Oct 21, 2021

Improving Relationships after TBI

.PDF | 110.05 KB

Flier for the Interactive Relationship Building Workshop for Active-Duty Military and Veteran TBI Caregivers and Families: This flier provides information on TBICoE's educational session for caregivers of active-duty service members and veterans who have sustained a TBI. In addition to sharing caregiver resources and current research initiatives, ...

Video
Jul 22, 2021

PRA Training Video 6: The Return to Duty Screening

Thumbnail image of PRA training video 6, the return to duty screening

In this lesson, we cover how to perform the Return to Duty, or RTD screening, which now includes both vestibular/physical and neurocognitive examinations. The purpose of the RTD screening is to objectively measure whether a service member is ready for return to full duty. Each video in the Progressive Return to Activity training series is designed ...

Video
Jul 22, 2021

PRA Training Video 8: Clinical Case Scenario

Thumbnail image of PRA training video 8, clinical case scenario.

This is an interactive clinical case scenario to test your understanding in applying the Progressive Return to Activity (PRA). We hope this will help medical providers become more familiar with the PRA process when treating service members with concussion. Each video in the PRA training series is designed to support primary care providers' ability ...

Video
Jul 22, 2021

PRA Training Video 3: Understanding Relative Rest

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In this lesson we explain the differences between complete rest and relative rest in a staged concussion recovery process, and provide examples of activities that promote relative rest. The revised Progressive Return to Activity (PRA) Clinical Recommendation uses the term 'relative rest' to emphasize the importance of early introduction of physical ...

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Jul 22, 2021

PRA Training Video 1: PRA Overview

Thumbnail image of PRA training video 1, PRA overview.

In the first of TBICoE's Progressive Return to Activity (PRA) video training series, you will learn about the reasons for using a progressive return to activity process and receive an overview of the 2021 PRA algorithm and its associated tools. By the end of lesson one, providers will better understand the PRA process, and explain that process to ...

Video
Jul 22, 2021

PRA Training Video 2: Six Major Changes

Thumbnail image of PRA Training Video 2, Six Major Changes

In this lesson we review the six major changes in the TBICoE's revised 2021 Progressive Return to Activity (PRA) Clinical Recommendation that differ from the original recommendation. The changes reflect the latest TBI research, and will make it easier for providers to manage the recovery process and return service members with concussion to full ...

Video
Jul 22, 2021

PRA Training Video 7: Symptom-Guided Management and Specialty Referral Guidance Tables

Thumbnail image of PRA training video 7, the symptom-guided management and specialty referral guidance tables.

This lesson covers how to use the Progressive Return to Activity, or PRA's Symptom-Guided Management and Specialty Referral Guidance tables. This lesson also details primary care management strategies for service members who are not progressing as expected in the PRA. Each video in the Progressive Return to Activity training series is designed to ...

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Jul 22, 2021

PRA Training Video 4: PRA Progression Criteria

Thumbnail image for PRA Training video 4, PRA progression criteria

In this lesson, we review the criteria for advancing through the stages of the Progressive Return to Activity (PRA) Clinical Recommendation. Each video in the PRA training series is designed to support primary care providers' ability to manage concussion/traumatic brain injury (TBI).

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Jul 22, 2021

PRA Training Video 5: The Six Stages of the PRA

Thumbnail image for PRA training video 5, the six stages of the PRA

In this lesson, we cover the key activity objectives for each of the six stages of the Progressive Return to Activity (PRA) Clinical Recommendation and provide activity examples for each stage. Each stage is designed to gradually increase the intensity and duration of a service member's physical and cognitive activity as they advance in the PRA ...

Fact Sheet
Apr 28, 2021

Help With Ongoing Symptoms Following Concussion/Mild TBI Fact Sheet

.PDF | 144.49 KB

Although the majority of service members recover from concussion with little to no intervention, some experience symptoms beyond the first three months after their initial injury. This fact sheet addresses why symptoms continue to persist in some patients and how they can cope or seek additional help.

Last Updated: November 30, 2023
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