Concussion Treatment Approach

A team of concussion specialists and comprehensive concussion testing

While other rehab hospitals often use just one type of test to assess concussion, Bryn Mawr Rehab uses multiple specialized concussion tests—believing that this comprehensive approach better enables our team of concussion specialists to make an accurate assessment and develop a customized concussion treatment plan that will support the best possible recovery for our patients. At our primary rehab facility in Malvern, Pennsylvania, in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, and additional outpatient locations in Concordville and Wynnewood, our team of physicians, nurse practitioners, psychologists and neuropsychologists, physical and occupational therapists, plus an optometrist, are on hand to evaluate and treat each patient in whatever areas are needed. At our Collegeville and Newtown Square locations we see vestibular patients.

Here are some examples of the tests for concussion we use:

  • ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) – This is a widely used, scientifically validated neurocognitive test used for patients ages 12 to 59 to objectively measure neurocognitive skills, including attention span, memory, reaction time and problem solving. ImPACT is used by sports teams, schools, corporations and clinics, and it requires someone who is specially trained to administer and interpret the results. At Bryn Mawr Rehab a physician or psychologist reviews the results.
  • King Devick – This is a visual and cognitive test that uses a series of number charts to test rapid eye movement. The test looks for errors in reading and speed of reading. The charts become progressively more difficult to read in a flowing manner because of the increasing space between the numbers. If a person has a concussion and associated problems such as blurred vision or dizziness, it is particularly challenging to read the numbers. The test is administered by an occupational therapist.
  • Computerized dynamic posturography (CDP) – This is a test used to assess the sensory and motor components of balance by having the patient stand on a Neurocom Balance Master that moves and exposes the patient to different types of visual and surface inputs to measure how well the patient can react and remain stable. The test is administered by a physical therapist.
  • Cognitive and oculomotor assessment – Oculomotor or eye movement testing, such as with SMART Balance Master and Dynavision D2, measures how well the eyes move when exposed to light, images, moving objects or head motion. A large lighted board hanging on a wall is used to evaluate visual, cognitive and motor function.

Once concussion treatment has begun, we take a balanced approach to recovery. Concussion recovery time is different for each patient and depends on concussion severity as well as the individual’s own healing process. We identify specific issues that affect learning, concentration and functionality, and we suggest modifications to accommodate the patient’s needs. In cases where full function is unlikely to be restored to pre-injury levels, we teach patients how to do things differently and provide strategies on how to compensate in those areas.