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December 1956

Early Ambulation and Psychotherapy for Treatment of Closed Head Injury

Author Affiliations


From the Neurologic Clinic of Serafimerlasarettet.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1956;76(6):597-607. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1956.02330300027004

Investigations during and immediately after the Second World War revealed that the pretraumatic personality, the emotional reaction to the accident, and environmental factors are of great importance in the development of persistent symptoms subsequent to closed head injuries (the postconcussion syndrome).* This observation influenced the traditional concept that prolonged rest in bed is essential after an acute head injury. Early physical activity was instituted by some workers,† and psychotherapy was recommended ‡ but was apparently never tested systematically.

The present study concerns a series of 258 closed head injuries treated with early ambulation and psychotherapy. A report is given of the immediate results and of a follow-up. The principles of the treatment and the causes of the postconcussion syndrome are discussed.

Material  The series consists of consecutive cases admitted to Serafimerlasarettet from February, 1953, to February, 1955, for treatment of acute head injuries. To facilitate the follow-up, we included only