The Concerted Action was constructed to improve the evaluation of the head injured patient by developing a specific evaluation tool which was targeted at the deficits and handicaps of brain injury specifically, and at the families of brain injured persons. The Concerted Action aimed to develop and validate this tool, and then to use it to identify the size of the problem posed by the post head injury within Europe, and to identify the late outcome of patients with TBI in Europe.
Head injury is a tremendous medical and social problem. There are a very large number of severely and chronically disabled head injured survivors in the European Community, which place great strains on social and medical services, and on the families of the injured survivors.
Disability after such injury is permanent and currently, few patients return to competitive employment, and there is enormous family disruption and breakdown.
The acute treatment of the severely injured patient varies somewhat across the European Community, but by and large acute medical and surgical services are very good at treating the initial injury, and preventing secondary complications. Problems arise thereafter when patients may be managed by many different medical and other specialists, few of whom have any particular expertise in head injury. As a result the evaluation of the head injured patient is skimpy, inappropriate, and frequently is not aimed at further informed management of the patient and those around him. Furthermore, because many different services may be involved, problems arise on transfer to or liaison between these different services, and it is a common observation throughout the European Community that brain injured patients slip through the many gaps in service provision.