St. Luke’s Virtual Concussion Clinic: A Unique Structure to Provide Comprehensive Care for Patients

Authors:
Kurt J. Nilsson, MD, MS
St. Luke’s Health System
St. Luke’s Concussion Clinic

Hilary Flint, PhD, MPH
St. Luke’s Health System
St. Luke’s Research

Janet Reis, PhD
Boise State University
College of Health Sciences
Office of Research

Krisi Pardue, CCC-SLP, CBIS
St. Luke’s Health System
St. Luke’s Concussion Clinic

Corresponding Author:
Kurt J. Nilsson, MD, MS
St. Luke’s Health System
St. Luke’s Concussion Clinic
600 N. Robbins Rd, Boise, ID 83702
208-383-2665
knilsson@slhs.org

St. Luke’s Virtual Concussion Clinic: A Unique Structure to Provide Comprehensive Care for Patients

ABSTRACT
Purpose: Failure to provide timely assessment and management of patients with concussions creates prolonged challenges for patients and primary care providers by disrupting work and school, interpersonal and family relationships, and placing patients at risk of injury. Thus, it is essential to provide timely and appropriate care to minimize post-concussion symptoms. The development of a virtual concussion clinic with a central referral and care coordination system is described. Additionally, key identifiers of virtual clinic patients are presented.

Methods: Intake and referral processes were implemented within 18 specialty clinics and 3 emergency departments. All patients (n= 623) completed a modified version of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Acute Concussion Evaluation (ACE) Form prior to their referred appointment with a clinician. Data was collected over a year and a half period.

General linear models compared the ACE domains and overall ACE scores with fixed variables of gender and cause of concussion.

Results: For our sample, most referrals came from emergency departments and primary care physicians. The sample was majority male (57%), with mean age 21.8 years. Females playing soccer, basketball, and cheerleading were most likely to have a concussion, whereas football represented 65% of concussions in male patients.

Significant effects for gender (p <0.02) were observed for all ACE domains except for Cognitive, and cause of concussion (p < .001) was significant for all ACE domains. The interaction between gender and cause of concussion (p=0.02) on the Physical ACE domain was significant. Conclusions: A virtual concussion clinic can successfully match the patient and his/her individual health care needs to an appropriate provider. Results demonstrate gender and cause of concussion impact evaluation, and warrants further research to discern optimal care for patients with concussion.
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