When is it safe to resume cardiovascular and high-level mobility training after traumatic brain injury?

Returning to sport, social and leisure activities following concussion and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has received considerable attention in recent years.

As a result, an international consensus statement has been developed to provide doctors, clinicians and sports trainers with guidelines and testing criteria for return to activity. These guidelines work to reduce harm that can be associated with return to previous function, community participation and sports-specific activities.

In contrast, there are no guidelines for the safe return to exercise following moderate-severe TBI. As TBI is a more severe form of concussion, so it is reasonable to suggest guidelines similar to those used in concussion could be applied to TBI. We will determine the occurrence and severity of post-concussion-like symptoms in patients returning to higher levels of mobility and cardiovascular training following TBI.

International guidelines for assessment and monitoring of concussion will be applied to moderate-extremely severe TBI during high-level mobility and cardiovascular exercise. The ultimate aim is to develop guidelines for the safe commencement and monitoring of high-level mobility and cardiovascular activities after moderate-very severe TBI and to promote earlier achievement of community participation goals.

The overall aim of this project is to determine if the International guidelines for concussion can be applied to more severe grades of TBI to manage the safe return to exercise. We aim to recruit 225 participants in the early recovery phase following TBI. This project will be completed in Dec 2021.

To register your interest to be involved in this project, please email Associate Professor of Physiotherapy Rehabilitation at Epworth Healthcare – Professor Gavin Williams.