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Are concussion guidelines being implemented in Ontario?

January 21, 2021

To bridge the estimated 17-year gap from research to practice there has been a rise in implementation science work across health promotions and research networks. While clinicians and healthcare providers recognize the importance of integrating best practices, it does not happen without targeted support and expertise. Understanding the need for implementation, the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) has played a key role in supporting a research to practice model in acquired brain injury.

In a poster presentation prepared for the Canadian Concussion Network / Réseau Canadien des Commotions, 1st Annual Research and Community Engagement Meeting, the ABI team outlines how ONF has become integral to the implementation of standardized best-practices in post-traumatic brain injury care across Ontario. This presentation, led by Diana Velikonja and supported by Hamilton Health Sciences, the Ontario Brain Injury Association and ONF, looks at the implementation strategy involving:

  • the dissemination of bundled concussion resources to Family Health Teams and Emergency Departments across the province;
  • implementation support to improve integration and use of ONF Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) in clinical treatment settings;
  • and catalyst grant funding awarded to rehabilitation, community-based and private concussion providers to encourage sustainable practice change tied specifically to CPG recommendations and standards.

The outcomes highlighted high engagement with concussion bundle material on the ONF led Concussions Ontario site, 12 catalyst grants awarded, and implementation projects supported to improve a spectrum of brain injury related concerns including:

  • concussion diagnosis and management;
  • integration of telemedicine into concussion diagnosis and assessment;
  • assessment and treatment of fatigue, mental health and family functioning;
  • dissemination concussion guidelines and tailored education to patients and family;
  • creation of a self-management education group for adults;
  • and standardization of an exercise prescription.

The overall conclusions were that working change at the local level with motivated clinicians and services provider organizations accelerates momentum and supports scaled efforts to improve the quality and standardization of concussion care across the province.

The poster presentation was prepared for the Canadian Concussion Network / Réseau Canadien des Commotions, 1st Annual Research and Community Engagement Meeting scheduled for January 22-27. ONF Acquired Brain Injury Program Director, Judy Gargaro will be a panelist along with Dr. Angela Colantonio, Pierre Langevin, Noah Silverberg and Laura Purcell in a discussion on concussion treatment moderated by University of Calgary’s Drs Kathryn Schneider and Keith Yeates.

View the poster.

To learn more about the Network meeting visit:

CORPORATE ANNOUNCEMENT – February 2021(Click to learn more)