2019 MACH MRFF
Rapid Applied Research Translation
Successful Grants & Fellowships
Prof Vicki Anderson
MACH Partners: Austin Health, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, University of Melbourne
Project title: Reducing persisting symptoms following child concussion: A randomised controlled clinical trial
Summary: Current knowledge of child and adolescent concussion is inadequate to direct effective, timely, and low-cost treatments to patients while recognising the vastly different needs of the individual child. This study aims to halve the rate of children with persisting post-concussive symptoms through a personalised medicine intervention. This will reduce missed school and parent workdays, prevent secondary mental health problems and provide an integrated, accessible, cost-effective treatment.
About Prof Anderson's Research Project
What is the problem you're trying to solve?
Despite being an increasing public health concern, and a 40 percent rate of debilitating, persisting post-concussive symptoms (PCS), current knowledge regarding child and adolescent concussion is inadequate to direct effective, timely, low cost treatment. To date, clinical management has failed to recognise the vastly different needs of the individual child.
About this research translation project
In the majority of children and adolescents (up to 60 percent) PCS resolve spontaneously within four weeks. Persisting PCS however impede safe return to academic and sport/leisure activities in the remaining 40 percent. Untreated, they can cause low tolerance for academic and sport/leisure activities, and disruptions to education, fitness and mental health. Despite their debilitating impact, PCS management is inconsistent and the few clinical trials conducted fail to account for individual symptom profiles.
The overarching objective of our study is to halve the rate of children with persisting PCS at three months post-injury by delivering Concussion Essentials (CE), an evidence-based, personalised medicine intervention.
CE is an innovative, multimodal intervention, integrating acute management, novel technologies and symptom-targeted treatment to accelerate PCS recovery and safe return to normal activities. CE was developed to be delivered within the Medicare Better Access program, and so will be readily accessible throughout the community. We have established clinical, industry, national and international peak body partnerships to ensure effective translation of our findings into routine practice.
What will be the impact?
Our pilot data is promising: 85 percent of children receiving CE showed symptom resolution and return to activity by three months (compared to 30 percent of UC participants), suggesting that CE can reduce missed school and parent workdays, prevent secondary mental health problems and provide an integrated, accessible, cost-effective treatment.