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Purpose: To explore a nursing phenomenon regarding posttraumatic headache (PTH) after mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) in hospitalized patients and demonstrates an implementation of the evidence-based nursing practice recommendations to reduce PTH after mild TBI.
Design: Case study
Methods: The process of translating evidence into practice was employed. Relevant research evidence was searched, appraised, and synthesized. The recommended statements regarding use of non-pharmacological intervention for pain relief were extracted. These included (1) biologically based interventions such as cold compress, massage, and yoga and (2) cognitive-behavioral interventions such as relaxation techniques and meditation. Implementation of the evidence was planned. Implementation of evidence-based practice to 4 patients with PTH after TBI was performed. The International Classification of Headache Disorders-II (ICHD-II) was used to select the patients diagnosed with PTH. The Headache Numeric Rating Scale (0-10) was used to assess the intensity of PTH before and after intervention.
Results and Implications: Four patients with mild TBI experienced PTH: three of them had tension-type headache (TTH) and one had cervicogenic headache (CEH). Cold compress and massage were reported as the two most efficacious interventions in reducing PTH after TBI. The results from this study provide the evidence and raise an awareness for nurses in using non-pharmacological management to effectively manage PTH after TBI.