With increased concern over the detrimental effects of sports concussions, it’s clear that a multidisciplinary approach to concussion care is imperative in promoting effective recovery. Concussion management partners are multidisciplinary teams that possess in-depth knowledge of concussions and strive to prevent and manage concussions.
These partners are often a diverse group of healthcare professionals. Still, they can also include parents, coaches, administration, and healthcare professionals who work closely to observe and care for the athlete during concussion recovery. In addition, they work with athletes and sports teams to develop concussion management programs by identifying goals, determining resources needed and creating communication plans.
One Colorado concussion management partner, The REAP Project, empowers schools, school districts, families, students, and medical professionals to coordinate, collaborate and to support young people in achieving the safest recovery from concussions. REAP stresses the importance of 2 essential components of a good concussion management program:
- A “Multidisciplinary Team” or team members who provide multiple perspectives of the athlete.
- Team members who provide multiple sources of data.
Within the team, REAP also suggests designating point people to perform the following responsibilities to effectively communicate and best support the athlete.
- Family Team:
- Who from the family will watch, monitor, and track the emotional and maintenance symptoms of the concussion and how will the Family Team communicate with the School and Medical Teams?
- School Team-Physical: (i.e., coach or gym teacher)
- Who at the school will watch, monitor, and track the physical symptoms of the concussion? Who is the Point Person?
- School Team-Academic: (i.e., teachers, counselors, administration)
- Who at the school will watch, monitor, and track the academic and emotional effects of the concussion? Who is the Point Person?
- Medical Team:
- How will the Medical Team get information from all the other teams and who will be responsible for communicating with this team?
Each team member contributes to the process of diagnosing and managing concussions, and ultimately return-to-play decisions. How might a concussion management partner help save your athlete’s lives? Click here for more information on The REAP Project’s concussion management program.
- LoGalbo, A., Salinas, C. M., Dougherty, M., & Field, M. (2014). Developing an interdisciplinary community-based Sports Concussion Management Program. Progress in Neurological Surgery, 184–194. https://doi.org/10.1159/000358779
- McAvoy, K. (2011, March). Reap the beneﬁts of good concussion management the reap reap - brainline. REAP The Benefits of Good Concussion Management. Retrieved February 28, 2023, from https://www.brainline.org/sites/default/files/REAP_Final_Mar_2011.pdf