Increasing evidence from carefully designed research studies indicates that individuals with DOC recover over a longer period of time than previously thought, and many regain the ability to function independently. For those who survive severe brain injury, there is a marked variability in medical, cognitive and physical needs. Spaulding provides a specialized 8-week rehabilitation program for individuals with DOC to help ensure that treatment services are appropriately matched to the current level of function and immediate care needs. The overarching objective of the program is to optimize functional recovery through the application of evidence-based assessment and treatment procedures.
Specialized neuromonitoring and clinical intervention programs are located at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Boston (SRH) and Spaulding Hospital Cambridge (SHC). SHC provides specialized rehabilitation services for patients who continue to require complex medical management. Assessment strategies and rehabilitation goals are developed and modified based on systematic, standardized protocols implemented throughout the course of the program. Progress is monitored weekly using validated outcome measures that address cognitive, linguistic, physical and functional status. A comprehensive, data-based Patient Profile is generated for all program participants that charts progress toward treatment goals and guides clinical decision-making. Continuation of care following discharge is available through our preferred provider relationship with select skilled nursing facilities.
Patients admitted to our DOC Program are evaluated and treated by an interdisciplinary team composed of specialists in the following disciplines: physiatry, neurology, internal medicine, nursing, neuropsychology, behavioral psychology, speech language pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreational therapy, social work, case management and neurotrauma outreach. On-site medical consultation services are available through neurology, pulmonology, infectious disease and psychiatry.
All the clinicians on our interdisciplinary teams have specialized education and training in assessment and treatment procedures designed specifically for individuals with DOC.
The Disorders of Consciousness Program is led by Joseph Giacino, PhD, internationally recognized for applying an evidenced based approach to the assessment and treatment of patients with disorders of consciousness. Dr. Giacino works to assess and develop interventions designed for persons with severe acquired brain injuries. His work in assessment has focused on developing neurobehavioral and functional neuroimaging methodologies to characterize the pathophysiologic, neurocognitive, neurobehavioral and functional sequelae of severe acquired brain injuries.