Post traumatic Amnesia

April 16, 2007

PTA – A common theme in brain injury rehabilitation and first port of call for occuaptional therapy assessment and intervention following admission to the rehabilitation ward I work on. For years we have used the Westmead PTA Scale to assess and monitor the duration of PTA for patients following a traumatic brain injury. Recently the use of this assessment and associated protocols have been brought into question by a Consultant reasonably new to the rehabilitation service and in trying to locate research in order to support our practice and ensure best practices I have hit a bit of a rut! There appears to be very limited research or literature on the use of this assessment and recommendations or protocols for patients while they are in PTA. Issues we are experiencing in particular are the push for us to beginning assessing patients who are borderline PTA i.e 11/12 or 12/12 and allowing weekend leave or community visits for patients in PTA. The PTA Protocol book addresses (see link) both these issues and advises against them (as we are currently doing) however to have documented research, evidence or literature regarding these restrictions would be ideal and provide us with a bit more ‘clout’ when arguing (or politely discussing!) our case. I will continue searching and keep you posted but any thoughts or information would be greatly appreciated!



  1. Wow.. what a good posting – lets hope that you get some good interaction with others. Even keeping track of what you search for and what you find or don’t find can assist another persons learning!! I’ll be back to see thats for sure!

  2. mmm.Strange that on my return to Australia I was diagnosed with a PTA of almost 3 weeks as I took almost another week to retain that I had a head injury yet I was given over to the care of my husband on an International flight and made sense enough on return to be given the phone to friends.(From Singapore,Gleneagles hospital which is a place of choice for our very helpful insurer,The neurosurg was trained in Cambridge.)
    That was an exotic start to more than weekend leave in PTA in retrospect.Good luck with the research which if my time as a physio is any guide is a long process so hope it helps even if you wrote in 2007.

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