As we mark Canadian Brain Injury Awareness Month this June, a new online tool, the MyGuide Concussion: Teen Edition, is poised to help teens recover faster from concussion.
MyGuide Concussion: Teen Edition was developed by the interdisciplinary team at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre's Adolescent Complex Concussion Clinic (ACCC) to help youth aged 12 to 18 and their caregivers receive timely, evidence-based information to manage symptoms and support concussion recovery. The website is customizable so teens can easily access information about their specific symptoms and concerns.
Teens have different concussion experiences than adults, including longer recovery periods.
"While most teens recover from concussion within a week or two of injury, research has consistently shown that almost 30 per cent will continue to have symptoms after one month, and 11 to 30 per cent may still have symptoms three months post-concussion, depending on the severity of their concussion and other risk factors," says Dr. Jacqueline Purtzki, Medical Lead and Pediatric Physiatrist, ACCC,
"Many studies have confirmed our clinical experience that early management of their symptoms can help to reduce the recovery period."
GF Strong already has an online concussion tool for adults, MyGuide Concussion. However, the ACCC team knows that teens have questions and concerns that might not be addressed on the adult site.
"The teenage brain is still developing and adolescents experience changes in their physical, cognitive, emotional and social being," says Kathy Wong, Occupational Therapist, ACCC. "Trying to manage concussion symptoms such as fatigue, headache, low mood and difficulty with thinking skills is very challenging for teens during this critical developmental stage of their lives."
Kathy explains that MyGuide Concussion: Teen Edition is specifically designed to help teens manage their symptoms so that they can get back to activities that they want and need to do, whether it's at school, home or with their friends.
MyGuide Concussion: Teen Edition's design is interactive and customizable, important features that help teens find the exact information they are seeking at their own pace, in a few easy steps. The user-friendly format allows teens to pick and choose what they want to learn about and bypass information that is less relevant to their experience. They can also create an individualized concussion-recovery plan based on their own symptoms.
The tool helps teens to:
Learn more about concussion and recovery;
Create a customized guide to manage their own specific concussion symptoms;
Get guidance for gradually returning to activities;
Find other resources to support their recovery.
The website is free to use and can be accessed on a mobile device or computer.
In addition to guiding teens through their recovery, parents and caregivers can use the MyGuide Concussion: Teen Edition to learn more about concussion and how to support their teens.
It is also a helpful resource for family doctors, nurse practitioners, emergency department staff and other health care providers who work with teens experiencing concussion. Health care providers are encouraged to check out the tool and recommend it to youth patients and their parents as a supplement to medical advice and treatment.
The website also provides information about GF Strong's ACCC program criteria and the referral process.
To find out more about MyGuide Concussion: Teen Edition please visit: https://teenconcussion.vch.ca.
Adults experiencing concussion are encouraged to access MyGuide Concussion.