What makes a good concussion course? What types of training and supplemental education should a licensed healthcare practitioner have to properly treat concussion patients? What should a healthcare practitioner look for in a course? We’ll answer these questions and more below. But, first…
Why a Concussion Course?
This may come as a surprise to some, but various studies have shown that concussion and concussion injury management is not thoroughly covered in medical and healthcare curriculums. These studies point to widespread gaps in knowledge, which could ultimately impact patient outcomes.
In fact, a study of 17 medical schools published in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences “found deficiencies in the concussion education curriculum provided in the majority of Canadian medical schools.” The recommendation at the time was a 1-hour, formal, concussion-specific teaching session early on in medical school, which would be followed by clinical exposure to concussion patients. Does this seem like enough given concussions are a public health concern?
Further, a more recent study titled Concussion diagnosis and management: Knowledge and attitudes of family medicine residents published in Canadian Family Physician uncovered “substantial gaps in knowledge surrounding concussion diagnosis and management among family medicine residents.” The study found that among respondents:
- 71% did not recognize CTE
- Only 63% recognized second-impact syndrome as a consequence of repetitive concussions
- Nearly 1 in 5 believed that direct head contact was necessary to cause a concussion
These problems are not unique to Canada. A recent US study published in 2018 found that less than half of patients sent to “top-level trauma centres for concussion” saw a physician or other provider for follow-up within 3 weeks of injury. This is particularly concerning given we know that concussion patients require frequent visits and follow-ups, particularly early on after their injury.
Although the media attention and volume of concussion-related research is exploding, we still have the problem of translating scientific discoveries and medical research into the hands of the treating clinicians, and ultimately, for patient benefit.
We have come a long way in concussion treatment and rehabilitation, but when will these approaches be widely used?
Unfortunately, one study shows that scientific advancements could take as long as 17 years to actually get to the patient.
Complete Concussion Management Practitioner Certification Course
It is for these reasons that Complete Concussion Management (CCMI) exists. It is for these reasons why we created our comprehensive concussion training course. It is for these reasons why we provide all recognized CCMI practitioners with research updates each month, including how the latest research can impact patient management now. It is for these reasons why recognized CCMI practitioners are required to complete a recertification course every 2 years.
The CCMI Practitioner Certification Course includes 12 online, in-depth modules; the latest concussion literature; how-to training videos; and much more! Check out a sample of the itinerary below:
Neurology Overview, Epidemiology, & Berlin Consensus Update
An update on the international concussion consensus statement; prevalence across various sports and industries; and a review of pertinent neurology and neurophysiology.
Pathophysiology of Acute Concussion
Current evidence about what happens inside the brain during a concussion.
Biomechanics of Concussion & Sub-Concussive Impacts
How much force does it take to cause a concussion? What is the evidence for sub-concussive impacts? What is the evidence for concussion prevention and strengthening programs?
ImPACT Test Administration & Interpretation
The most widely used and researched computerized neurocognitive test. This module provides an introduction on how to administer and interpret the ImPACT test (1 of 9 tests used in the CCMI baseline testing battery).
Assessment of Acute Concussion
A systematic and evidence-based approach on assessing and diagnosing acute concussion.
Management of Acute Concussion (Return to Learn, Work, & Play)
How to properly return your patients back to school, work, sports, and everyday life.
Pathophysiology of Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS)
Why do some patients recover in a week, while some take months? Reviewing the current state of evidence in each of the main theories behind the emergence of PCS.
Assessment & Treatment of PCS
In-depth examination of the procedures of physical capacity, visual and vestibular dysfunction, and cervical spine function – the cornerstone of PCS rehabilitation and treatment strategies. This module covers how to assess, properly categorize and treat/rehab patients depending on their examination findings. Complete with evidence-based treatment algorithms for complex cases.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
CTE is thought to be the long-term brain damage caused by concussion and exposure to head trauma. But, how much do we really know? What evidence exists?
Evidence-based, Comprehensive Training is Imperative
Because concussion is so complex and multi-dimensional, the continuing education and professional development must reflect this.
For example, a training course for only vestibular therapy is not enough to teach a healthcare practitioner how to appropriately manage concussion patients. Neither does a course on specifically return to play. There’s much more to consider.
Concussion courses should provide an in-depth look at what a concussion is, the various ways someone can be impacted following the injury, and how to apply a practitioner’s skillset to assess, manage and treat all of the systems and domains from a holistic perspective. Without thorough training, practitioners may have difficulty offering care that can actually make a long-term difference for patients and their recovery.
That said, with the proper training, concussion management can be effective and efficient. Concussion care can be a large part of many therapists and healthcare practitioners practices; just make sure to get the proper training first!
Complete the form to speak to a Program Development Manager for more information about the Complete Concussion Management concussion course and global clinic network.
 Burke, M., Chundamala, J., & Tator, C. (2012). Deficiencies in Concussion Education in Canadian Medical Schools. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences / Journal Canadien Des Sciences Neurologiques, 39(6), 763-766. doi:10.1017/S0317167100015584.
 Mann A, Tator CH, Carson JD. Concussion diagnosis and management: Knowledge and attitudes of family medicine residents. Canadian Family Physician. 2017;63(6):460-466.
 Most concussion patients get no care after leaving hospital. USC News. Published May 25, 2018. Available at: news.usc.edu/143718/concussion-patients-fall-under-the-radar-after-first-er-visit.
 Morris ZS, Wooding S, Grant J. The answer is 17 years, what is the question: understanding time lags in translational research. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 2011;104(12):510-520. doi:10.1258/jrsm.2011.110180.