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Extended follow-up in a randomized trial of hyperbaric oxygen for persistent post-concussive symptoms

To date, several Department of Defense (DoD) and civilian studies have evaluated hyperbaric oxygen for mild forms of traumatic brain injury. Prior to the DoD-sponsored “Brain Injury and Mechanisms of Action of Hyperbaric Oxygen for Persistent Post-Concussive Symptoms after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) (BIMA)” trial, none included post-intervention follow-up beyond three to six months. Post-hoc attempts at long-term follow-up were complicated by low participation and potential self-selection bias. BIMA planned for follow-up through 12 months but was amended to add post-concussive and post-traumatic stress disorder, quality of life, pain, depression, anxiety, and alcohol use assessments at 24 and 36 months. A total of 42 of 71 BIMA participants consented to extended follow-up, and 40 and 14 completed a 24- or 36-month visit, respectively, representing an overall response rate of 59% and 20%. Participants who completed extended follow-up were similar to the study group that did not in terms of demographics, perceived intervention allocation, and initial response to intervention. There were no significant differences at 24 or 36 months between intervention groups, and group mean scores were near pre-intervention values. This return to baseline could be due to waning treatment effect, selection bias, or participant or perception effects. Though BIMA implemented several participant retention strategies, more frequent participant contact and increased compensation might improve long-term retention in future studies.
Identifier: NCT01611194

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