Why see a neuropsychologist after sustaining a concussion

Why see a neuropsychologist after sustaining a concussion in the workplace: Access through WSIB

Neuropsychologists play an important role in the assessment and treatment of persistent symptoms following a concussion, also referred to as a mild traumatic brain injury. While most individuals recover within 2 weeks of sustaining a concussion, approximately 15-20% of people experience persistent symptoms (residual symptoms more than 2 weeks after injury). If you are still experiencing symptoms after 2 weeks, a neuropsychologist can help you reduce your recovery time and get back to work and play.

Neuropsychologists, as well as physicians, can diagnose concussions. Neuropsychologists can further provide a comprehensive evaluation of psychological and neurocognitive symptoms after injury. When cognitive symptoms are present, known to occur in approximately 30% of individuals following concussion, many people report being most concerned about their thinking abilities. Moreover, they worry whether these difficulties are permanent. Depending on your medical history before  injury, most cognitive symptoms can be caused or made worse by numerous factors which are treatable. These factors are known as barriers to recovery. When treated, cognition can improve or, in most cases, can go back to normal.

Barriers to recovery are identified during initial assessment with a neuropsychologist. These barriers can include low mood, irritability, anxiety, trauma, exacerbation of some or all pre-injury mental health conditions, headaches, other ‘traveling pain’ in the body or head, sleep disruption, overfocusing on symptoms and related difficulties, avoidance (e.g., screens, activities, lights, noise), low stress tolerance and most importantly misinformation about concussion and recovery. As part of treatment, neuropsychologist can determine return to work readiness, create a return-to-work plan together with your input, and provide you with guidance over the course of your return-to-work plan to increase the likelihood of a successful return in the short and longer term.

Toronto Brain Health

Why choose Toronto Brain Health?

Our neuropsychologists provide evidence-based concussion management according to available research and best practice guidelines. Drs. Lombardi and Svoboda have also developed a successful concussion protocol grounded in neuroscience, biopsychosocial models of pain intervention, and research in psychological and neurocognitive interventions. We have significant experience treating individuals with persistent symptoms following concussion and most importantly getting them back to their lives and to work. Our neuropsychologists all have doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees and several have further post-doctoral training (additional specialized research and/or clinical training after completing a Ph.D.). Your treating neuropsychologist can also provide you with guidance on accessing further evidence-based treatment, as needed, to address other barriers to recovery e.g., neck injury, physical exertion intolerance, dizziness or balance problems.

Toronto Brain Health is a registered treatment provider with the Workerplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) under the Community Mental Health Program (CMHP). CMHP is for all people with a WSIB claim who require psychological assessment and/or treatment, this includes individuals who have sustained a concussion in the workplace and require neuropsychological intervention.

Accessing assessment and treatment at Toronto Brain Health through WSIB

Prior to starting psychological services, you will need to do the following:

  • Attain a claim number from WSIB
  • Get approval for psychological services by your assigned WSIB case manager
  • Once the above steps are completed, call our office. You will be scheduled to complete a brief 10–15-minute screening interview to ensure our services are a good fit for your needs.
  • Your first appointment will then be booked with one of our neuropsychologists.

Dr. Eva Svoboda

Dr. Eva Svoboda has significant experience assessing and treating individuals with concussion with persistent symptoms, chronic pain or unexplained symptoms, anxiety, stress, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or who are interested in personal development. She has co-developed memory assessment and intervention tools, a treatment protocol for concussion with persistent symptoms together with Dr. Lombardi, published research and trained many in rehabilitation following brain injury.
See All Articles for: Dr. Eva Svoboda
You may find these of interest:
How a Psychologist Can Help You Better Manage Anxiety

How a Psychologist Can Help You Better Manage Anxiety

The symptoms of anxiety can be so frightening, that people will do almost anything to avoid them. They begin to avoid people, places and activities that trigger these symptoms. Unknowingly, some of the strategies people use to try to manage anxiety such as excessive rest, avoiding triggers, and consuming recreational drugs and alcohol, may work in the short-term, but actually worsen anxiety symptoms in the long-term. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that has a solid grounding in science, with proven effectiveness in treating anxiety-related disorders such as Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety, Health Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Agoraphobia, and Specific Phobias.

What Is Burnout

What Is Burnout

Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion typically brought on by chronic stress in the workplace. Burnout has three features: Exhaustion: feeling emotionally drained, fatigued, and overwhelmed Cynicism: psychological distancing and a negative outlook towards your role, colleagues, and/or the person/people you are caring for. Inefficacy: reduced feelings of personal accomplishment and reduced performance. Many studies have found that burnout and depression are highly related and the two share symptoms, such as fatigue or loss of energy, sleep problems, and difficulty with thinking, concentrating, or making decisions. You may find it difficult to determine whether you are burnt out or if you are experiencing clinical depression, also called a major depressive episode.

Can concussion symptoms last for months or even years?

Can concussion symptoms last for months or even years?

Following a concussion, 80% of people recover within 7 to 14 days while for the other 20% it can take longer for post-concussion symptoms to resolve. There are a lot of horror stories in the news, on social media and online about people who take months or years to recover from a concussion or, even worse, people who never recover (as many of us know, Dr. Google is not great for calming our anxieties). While this is alarming, especially if you find yourself in this 20% membership group, there is a lot we have learned over the past several years about who is at risk for prolonged concussion recovery, what the barriers to recovery are and how to effectively target barriers to concussion recovery in treatment. To be clear, just because your symptoms have continued, it does not mean your brain has not healed. The more time that passes since the injury, the more likely it is that other factors prolong your recovery from symptoms.