March 20, 2024 | 12:00-1:30 PM ET | 1.5 CE Credit

Navigating Post-Concussion Challenges: Shifting Perspectives for Persistent Symptoms


Presented By:

Donna K. Broshek, Ph.D.
University of Virginia Health
John Edward Fowler Professor, Chief of Psychology, Director of Neuropsychology Assessment Clinic
Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences
Director, Acute Concussion Evaluation Clinic; Executive Director, Sports Neuropsychology Society

Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) was originally intended to refer to symptoms occurring after the acute phase of typical concussion recovery. Unfortunately, this terminology has lost meaning over time and is frequently misunderstood by patients and misused by clinicians. Persisting Symptoms after Concussion (PSaC) has been proposed as new terminology to shift the focus from a patient’s failure to recover from concussion to encouraging health care providers to conduct active evaluation of persisting symptoms. The goal of active evaluation is to identify treatable causes of persisting symptoms, including considering non-concussion related etiologies. The change in terminology is intended to shift the clinical focus to recovery, including identification of treatable conditions, and implementing evidence-based active recovery to improve functioning and quality of life. Sociocultural and health equity barriers affecting access to care will also be addressed. This presentation will provide a definition of PSaC, explain the basis of the terminology, and discuss the maxims underlying the care of patients presenting with persisting symptoms, including respecting the brain injury, understanding the injury in context, examining the patient’s view of the injury, and learning from other persisting clinical presentations such as chronic pain. Finally, a brief overview of risk factors for PSaC will be discussed and active treatment options will be presented.

Learning Objectives:
After the webinar, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe why the term post-concussion syndrome is not a helpful or informative diagnosis.
  2. Apply new terminology for symptoms after concussion.
  3. Describe how multiple individual factors can influence recovery.
  4. Explain the importance of individualized assessment and management of athletes/patients with prolonged concussion symptoms.

Target Audience: clinical neuropsychologists, clinical psychologists, other health care providers, and students

Instructional Level:
Introductory to Intermediate

Dr. Donna Broshek
is the John Edward Fowler Professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and a board certified clinical neuropsychologist. Her primary appointment is in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, where she is Director of the Neuropsychology Assessment Clinic and Chief of Psychological Services. Dr. Broshek is the inaugural Executive Director of the Sports Neuropsychology Society (SNS), as well as a Fellow and Past-President of SNS. She is also a Fellow of the American Epilepsy Society and the National Academy of Neuropsychology. Dr. Broshek is a member of the NBA/WNBA Concussion Committee, a founding member of the International Congress for Athlete Brain Health and Chair of the Persisting Symptoms after Concussion Workgroup for the Athlete Brain Health Foundation, Board member of the Concussion in Sport Group, and a consultant to the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Dr. Broshek also serves on the Board of Directors for The BridgeLine, a community organization for adults with brain injuries. Dr. Broshek received the Distinguished Career Award from the National Academy of Neuropsychology in 2019 for her exemplary service to the field of neuropsychology. She has been active in research on sports concussion and mTBI, as well as national clinical trials for the treatment of intractable epilepsy. Dr. Broshek has been active at the local, regional, and national levels in promoting concussion education and safety.

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