Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 8-13-2022

Submission Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program


School of Nursing

Faculty Mentor

Catherine Johnson

Committee Member

Karla Lawson


concussion, mild traumatic brain injury, sports-related concussion, active rehabilitation, exercise therapy, program evaluation


Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or concussion is a growing public health concern in adolescents, and early interventions should target persistent symptoms that can impact learning, behavior, and emotions. The past decade has brought increased awareness, identification, and reporting of concussion and an accompanying explosion of quality research on the management of concussion. The overwhelming theme that has emerged is active rehabilitation which challenges the long-standing recommendation of rest and restriction.

This comprehensive program evaluation has focused on a new initiative in a pediatric interdisciplinary brain injury clinic, including an analysis of the impact of active rehabilitation on athlete concussion recovery. The W.F. Kellogg Model for Program Evaluation was used as a guide to provide stakeholders with a summary of successes and challenges of clinic processes including the implementation of treadmill testing in this specialty clinic. This evaluation supports that the clinic model for active rehabilitation is evidence-based and impactful. Recommendations include developing strong community partnerships with a goal of integrating active rehabilitation into community clinics and schools where it can improve outcomes for thousands of adolescents, including those at highest risk for persistent symptoms and poor outcomes.