(HealthDay News) – Pediatric primary care and emergency medicine providers frequently care for patients with concussion, but may lack adequate training and resources for appropriate management, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in Pediatrics.

Mark R. Zonfrillo, MD, from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues distributed a cross-sectional survey to pediatric primary care and emergency medicine providers in a single pediatric care network to examine practices and attitudes about concussion diagnosis and management. Barriers to educating families about the diagnosis of concussion were assessed on a Likert scale of 1 (not a barrier) to 5 (significant barrier).

The researchers found that 91% of the 145 respondents among 276 eligible providers had cared for at least one concussion patient in the prior three months. Providers selected 4 or 5 on the Likert scale for barriers, including inadequate training to educate (frequency, 16%); inadequate time to educate (frequency, 15%); and not my role to educate (frequency, 1%). Ninety-six percent of providers without a provider decision support tool specific to concussion believed one would be helpful, and 100% of those without concussion-specific discharge instructions believed these would be helpful.

“Although pediatric primary care and emergency medicine providers regularly care for concussion patients, they may not have adequate training or infrastructure to systematically diagnose and manage these patients,” the authors write. “Specific provider education, decision support tools, and patient information could help enhance and standardize concussion management.”

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