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Commentary on Oh H. and Seo W. (2003) Sensory stimulation programme to improve recovery in comatose patients.
Gelling, L., SHIEL, A., Elliott, L., OWEN, A., WILSON, B., Menon, D. & Pickard, J.
Journal of Clinical Nursing, 13(1), 125-127
Year of publication:
The rational management of patients recovering from post-traumatic coma has been plagued by a paucity of hard data addressing the role of different physical interventions. In this paper, Oh and Seo present some useful and thorough research in a clinical area that is critically under-researched. As technology, knowledge and understanding advances, the number of patients surviving severe brain injury is increasing. Although the majority make a good recovery, a minority remain in coma, the minimally conscious state or the vegetative state. It has been estimated that as many as six to eight in 100,000 people each year sustain a moderate or severe head injury, with long-term consequences. Unfortunately, this is not reflected in the provision of health care or research in this field. These patients are often ignored by modern health care. While billions of research pounds and dollars have been spent on the investigation of (mainly ineffective) acute neuroprotective interventions, little research effort has been directed at dealing with the clinical reality of patients who are left severely disabled following brain injury.