Those struggling with post-concussion symptoms now have an app-based resource for support during their concussion recovery. SuperBetter is making available, at no cost, the Power Packs (i.e. daily activities) developed for the clinical trial that evaluated the impact of using SuperBetter among concussion patients with persistent symptoms. People with a concussion or mild to moderate traumatic brain injury can access these Power Packs in the SuperBetter app or website using the special code found near the end of this post.
If you have a concussion, talk to your doctor before using the SuperBetter app.
They are your best ally.
In the Trial, SuperBetter Users Had Reduced Symptoms & Increased Optimism
Part of what makes SuperBetter compelling is that it is backed by science. In an NIH-funded clinical trial published in Brain Injury, researchers sought to measure the effects of using SuperBetter among teen patients of concussion who were experiencing persistent symptoms (e.g. headaches, dizziness, confusion, lack of coordination, nausea, fatigue, etc.). The study was conducted at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. An experimental group used SuperBetter in conjunction with standard medical care for 3-6 weeks, while a control group received only standard medical care. Since conventional medical advice is to avoid screen time while recovering from a concussion, one of the study goals was to learn if controlled, directed use of screen time could be conducive rather than detrimental to recovery.
What the researchers found was promising. Every one of the participants who used SuperBetter experienced a reduction in concussion-related symptoms while also experiencing an increase in optimism about their recovery. Meanwhile, only half of the participants in the control group experienced an improvement in symptoms. The other half reported that their symptoms got worse and that they did not experience an increase in optimism.
A summary of the study’s findings can be seen in this video.
Helpful Daily Activities for Individuals Recovering from Concussion
Power Packs are sets of daily activities available in the SuperBetter game that include power-ups, bad guys and quests. (Learn more about the SuperBetter methodology here). Each Power Pack is organized around a theme. For the clinical trial, five different concussion-related Power Packs were developed in collaboration with researchers and medical professionals at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Here’s a brief overview of each:
- The Battle Royale: Track 22 different concussion symptoms and work on overcoming these ‘bad guys’ one at a time.
- Make a Great Escape: Discover how to pay close attention to your symptoms and work on vanquishing their triggers.
- Power Move: This Power Pack guides you through a series of light physical activities, which studies have shown may help your brain heal faster after a concussion.
- Fun Days: Learn about and create “Fun Days” along your path of recovery.
- Return to Play: If you’re an athlete (or athlete at heart) who’s been sidelined by a concussion, this Power Pack will help you “get back in the game,” so to speak.
Why SuperBetter Makes the Power Packs Available for Free
The SuperBetter story starts with a concussion that did not heal properly. If you haven’t seen it yet, we highly recommend watching Jane McGonigal’s inspiring TED Talk where she shares her personal story that led to inventing SuperBetter. The SuperBetter company makes the concussion-related Power Packs available for free as part of its mission to do good, and because it is something we can do right now to support people around the world who have experienced a concussion.
In the U.S. alone, more than 1.7 million sports- and recreation-related concussions happen each year. Yet, despite the increasing prevalence and public awareness of concussion as a public health problem, treatment options for concussion remain limited. There are now screening apps to determine the presence of a concussion; however an evidence-based app like SuperBetter to complement medical treatment and support patients recovering from concussion is unique and helpful.
How to Access the Concussion Power Packs
The Power Pack Code to unlock the set of five Power Packs is “CONCUSSIONPACK.”
Where to enter the code varies slightly between the website version of SuperBetter and the mobile apps, and for registered users of SuperBetter vs. those yet to create an account.
- Current users: Log into your account. Then, at the menu in the upper right corner of the screen, click your Secret Identity name and click “EDIT MY PROFILE.” Then, at the ACCOUNT screen, click “EDIT.” Look for where it says “Power Pack Code” and then type “CONCUSSIONPACK” in the blank.
- New users: If you don’t currently have a SuperBetter user account, you will also be given the opportunity to enter the power pack code upon setting up your account on the screen where you are asked to choose your User Name.
2. Mobile apps:
- iOS: Tap the “Profile” button at the main menu at the bottom. Tap the “Edit” symbol next to “ACCOUNT.” Then where it says “Power pack code” type “CONCUSSIONPACK” in the blank.
- Android: Tap the dotted menu symbol in the upper right corner of the screen. Next, tap “Account.” Then, where it says “POWER PACK CODE” type “CONCUSSIONPACK.”
- New users: If you don’t currently have a SuperBetter user account, you will also be given the opportunity to enter the power pack code upon setting up your account on the register screen where you are asked to choose your User Name.
Once you’ve used any of the above methods, the five different concussion-related Power Packs will appear in the Power Pack section of the game for you to review and load. When you load a Power Pack in the game it will push activities to your ‘To Do Today’ list. If you’re not sure which of the five Power Packs to load first, consider The Battle Royale. In the clinical trial, that Power Pack was pre-loaded onto the SuperBetter apps of study participants so they saw it first.
Visit the concussion page on the SuperBetter website for more information.