Article Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Smartphone App Helps Teens Recover From Concussions, Study Suggests


Aug. 17, 2017 CBS New York

Rachel Butler suffered a number of concussions over a five-year span, and though she was treated for them by a doctor, her symptoms never quite went away, CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported.

“I had really bad headaches. I would sleep so much. I was really irritable all the time,” she said.

Then, her doctor suggested using a smartphone app called SuperBetter. It’s a game that makes the patient the hero in a personal recovery story, battling foes along the way, like dizziness and headaches.

“Instead of, ‘I’m so frustrated, I can’t get rid of this headache,’ it rewrites it to say, ‘Did you battle the headache bad-guy today? And if so, how did you do?’” explained researcher Lise Worthen-Chaudhari, of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.

Traditionally, concussion patents are advised to stay away from screens during their recovery. But that can often lead to isolation and depression, especially for teenagers.

So researchers conducted a study at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to see if limited exposure to the right content could help.

“We wanted to see, we wanted to test — was it possible for them to use screens just a little bit each day and get the bang for the buck with that,” she said.

In teens treated for concussions that did not use the app, only half reported improved symptoms. The other half said their symptoms got worse, and there was no improvement in optimism about recovery.

But in teens that did use the app, all of them reported improvements in both symptoms and optimism.

Butler said she felt less isolated and more motivated to get better.

“Having all the screens taken away was too much. But then when you added something in that was still beneficial, it helped a lot,” she said.

Other studies have started to show that complete brain rest may not be best path to concussion recovery.

This particular approach with a smartphone app may be especially useful for young people who really feel lost without their primary means of communication with their whole social network.

Read More on CBS New York

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

Apply Today

All Resources

Tell Me More

Is It Possible to Program Your Happiness?

Here’s a simple trick to talk yourself into being happier.

Read More

9 Ways to Find Your Purpose As You Age

Don’t focus on the challenges of aging over the opportunities for growth.

Read More

The Surprising Reason Mindfulness Makes You Happier

Research shows it’s not just neutral observation

Read More

3 things you should do every day to improve your memory

Tips from a 4-time world memory champion.

Read More

EarQ and the NFL Players Association's PAF Team up Before Sunday's Big Game

Our partnership continued this year in Miami.

Read More

IS SITTING THE NEW SMOKING?

Set a timer to remind yourself to get up and moving.

Read More

How to Make the Most of a Day

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

Read More

Will the New FICO Credit Scoring Model Help or Hurt You?

The keys to good credit haven’t changed.

Read More