A new study published in JAMA Network Open shows that providing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as part of a collaborative care model for youth who have experienced persistent post-concussive symptoms (PPCS) offers a promising treatment to alleviate symptoms and improve functioning.

Every year, an estimated 1.1 to 1.9 million youth suffer a sports-related concussion. Between 20% and 30% of those experience symptoms that last more than 30 days, including mental health challenges such as depression or anxiety. Yet there is a lack of high-quality evidence to guide best practices for the treatment of PPCS in the pediatric population.

“Historically, there has been a large focus on the physical symptoms when treating youth who have suffered a concussion,” says Dr. Cari McCarty, one of the study authors and a researcher at Seattle Children’s Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development. “We wanted to also address the mental health concerns through behavioral techniques as well. Working solely with a sports medicine physician is a more traditional approach to treatment. Our approach is novel.”

Learn more about the study and how two local teens made strides with CBT in overcoming their long-term concussion symptoms: “Novel Collaborative Care Approach Shows Promise in Treating Youth with Persistent Post-Concussive Symptoms,” in On The Pulse, Feb. 26, 2021.