Program of enhanced psychiatric services for patients with brain injury and neuropsychiatric disturbances: A proposed model of care

Faizi Ahmed, Kathleen Bechtold, Gwenn Smith, Durga Roy, Anita Everett, Vani Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Neuropsychiatric disturbances associated with brain injury occur frequently and are a common cause of poor quality of life and caregiver burden. These disturbances can disrupt rehabilitation therapies and contribute to functional impairment if they are not appropriately treated. Although some patients can be treated adequately in an outpatient brain injury clinic or rehabilitation clinic, others need a more specialized structured program. Behavioral problems in particular are challenging and often lead to discharge of patients from traditional rehabilitation programs because their behaviors can be disruptive and/or harmful to themselves and others. These patients are often admitted to inpatient general psychiatric units, where they do not receive the comprehensive care they need. In an effort to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and to provide comprehensive treatment, a community-based, multidisciplinary program was developed to address the physical, cognitive, and psychiatric needs of patients with brain injury. The program is highlighted with two case presentations: (a) a 31-year-old man with severe traumatic brain injury with subsequent cognitive and behavioral symptoms who had improvement in symptoms and quality of life, and (b) a 38-year-old woman with cognitive and mood symptoms after left temporal lobe resection due to medicationrefractory epilepsy who had improved mood symptoms and daily life functioning. Brain injury is commonly associated with a host of neuropsychiatric symptoms that wax and wane. There is an urgent need to develop comprehensive programs that can address the multiple needs of this patient population in a community setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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