• Babul, Shelina

    Clinical Investigator, CFRI
    Associate Director, Sports Injury Specialist, BC Injury Research & Prevention Unit, CFRI
    Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia
    Degrees / Designations
    B.Sc., PhD
    Primary Area of Research
    Developmental Neurosciences & Child Health
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    Lab Phone
    Dian Lee
    Assistant Phone
    Mailing Address
    BC Children's Hospital

    Room F505A, 4480 Oak Street
    Vancouver BC V6H 3V4

    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Sports & recreation
    • Injury prevention and rehabilitation
    • Childhood injuries prevention
    • Epidemiology
    • Concussion and mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (mTBI)

    Concussion and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), used synonymously in the literature, have received enormous attention in recent years, both in the popular press and the scientific literature, especially those related to hockey and football. The Centers for Disease Control has estimated that 1.6 to 3.8 million cases of sport-related concussions occur annually in the United States. Sport and recreational activities contribute to about 21% of all traumatic brain injuries among children in the US.

    Concussions are caused by a direct blow to the head or other body part resulting in a rotational movement of the brain within the skull. It is important to recognize that a concussion can occur with or without loss of consciousness and symptoms can be subtle, including headache, confusion, nausea or dizziness, and may not appear for hours or days. Recommended treatment includes both physical and mental rest. If an individual returns to activity too soon and a second concussion is sustained before recovering from the first, a condition known as second-impact syndrome may occur: a swelling of the brain that can result in brain damage causing severe disability or even death. Furthermore, an individual is three times more likely to sustain a second concussion during recovery from a concussion.

    Dr Babul's recent initiatives include looking at trends and patterns of concussions in BC; and knowledge translation activities to raise awareness of concussion and mTBI among targeted audiences, including health practitioners, coaches, parents and athletes, as well as educators. She is the Chair of the BC Concussion Advisory Network, and is also a co-investigator on the "Safe to Play" and the "Alberta Program in Youth Sport and Recreation Injury Prevention" grant-funded projects.

    Current Projects

    Concussion Awareness Training Toolkit (CATT) for Health Practitioners

    The online Concussion Awareness Training Toolkit (CATT) for health practitioners (cattonline.com) was developed to standardize practice regarding concussion recognition, diagnosis, treatment and management. Based upon established international principles, this online toolkit includes learner-directed training in concussion; diagnostic tools; links to clinical resources, patient handouts, journal articles, related websites, concussion videos and study cases; and the Zurich Consensus Statement.

    The purpose of the two-pronged CATT evaluation is to: 1) Determine if knowledge, attitudes and practices are significantly improved among physicians and nurses following completion of CATT; and 2) Determine if patient care at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital, Canada is improved following physician and nurse completion of CATT.

    Good concussion management will potentially reduce related health problems and may decrease the risk of long-term brain damage, potentially lowering total health care costs among these patients. CATT is currently being rolled out provincially in British Columbia, Canada to all doctors and nurses. This work is being accomplished in collaboration with the BC Medical Association, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care throughout the province. Funding for this project was provided by Child Health BC and the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

    Burden of Concussion in Children & Youth Report (commissioned by Child Health BC)

    Evidence suggests that children and youth are at greater risk of concussions and more serious head injury than the general population, take longer than adults to recover following a concussion, and that concussions can permanently change the way a child or youth talks, walks, learns, works and interacts with others. Concussion management and appropriate return to activity is crucial, particularly in the pediatric and adolescent populations. Active and timely rehabilitation is essential for concussion patients who remain symptomatic longer than a six week period. This may include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, educational support, neuropsychology and in some case neuropsychiatry.

    The purpose of the report is to provide details on the burden of concussion among children and youth in BC, to be used to facilitate discussion of the need for standardized concussion prevention, diagnosis and management in BC specific to children and youth. Concussions are the most common form of head injury, yet it is believed that they are under-reported owing to both a lack of consensus on the minimum requirements of the definition of a concussion, and the presence of misconceptions among the general public regarding concussions.

    The findings of this report indicate that concussions remain a significant health issue and require further attention given the long-lasting effects. This may include concussion prevention, education and awareness, standardizing care, ensuring correct treatment protocols are adhered to, and appropriate concussion management is employed.

    Concussion in BC Campaign – in partnership with Preventable (preventable.ca)

    British Columbians may not consider concussions to be a serious preventable injury. They regard it as an outcome of accidents or inevitable occurrences. The focus of this campaign was to raise awareness about concussion in sports, targeting parents (25-55 years of age) of school-aged youth in British Columbia. Key objectives were to raise awareness that concussions can happen to anyone, raise awareness that we may not recognize all the symptoms of concussions, highlight the importance of consulting with health practitioner when unsure about whether a concussion has occurred, and to be aware that severe concussions can result in death


    Football BC Concussion Clipboard Study

    The Zurich Consensus Statement on concussion in sport is the most up-to-date set of principle messages regarding the evolving science of concussion. The Pocket Concussion Recognition Tool (CRT) is a resource to assist and provide information to coaches on recognizing when a concussion occurs, what to do, as well as providing them with an action plan should an athlete sustain a concussion.

    The purpose of this project is to evaluate a Concussion Clipboard Tool for football coaches in BC. Clipboards will be printed on both sides (front and back) with the Pocket CRT and sent to all coaches associated with Football BC. These coaches will be recruited to voluntarily participate in this study, which will consist of two (pre and post intervention) online surveys. Coaches’ perceptions of the clipboards will be evaluated by asking post-intervention questions such as how often the concussion clipboard was used and whether it was viewed as a valuable resource. Changes in coaches’ knowledge, attitudes and practices around concussion recognition and action plans will also be measured and described. The specific focus will be on the perception of the usefulness of the concussion clipboard tool and the practices of coaches in relation to athletes with suspected concussion.

    Selected Publications

    Winters M, Babul S, Becker HJEH, Brubacher JR, Chipman M, Cripton PA, Cusimano MD, Friedman SM, Harris MA, Hunte G, Monro M, Reynolds CCO, Shen H, Teschke K. (2012). Safe cycling: How do risk perceptions compare with observed risk? Canadian Journal of Public Health, 103: S42-S47. 

    Teschke K, Harris MA, Reynolds CCO, Winters M, Babul S, Chipman M, Cusimano MD, Brubacher J, Friedman, SM, Hunte G, Monro M, Shen H, Vernich L, Cripton PA. (2012). Route infrastructure and the risk of injuries to bicyclists: A case-crossover study. Am J Public Health, 102(12): 2336-43.

    Leadbeater B, Babul S, Jansson M, Scime G, Pike I.: Youth injuries in British Columbia: type, settings, treatment and costs, 2003-2007. Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot. 2010 Jun;17(2):119-27. PMID: 20229380

    Desapriya E, Scime G, Cripton P, Babul S, Takeo F, Subzwari S, Pike I.: Child restraint seats: Use, Misuse and Strategies for Improved Action. In: Frank Columbus, editor. New York: Nova Science Publishers. 2009

    Subzwari S, Desapriya E, Babul S, Pike I, Turcotte K, Rajabali F, Kinney J.: Vision screening of older drivers for preventing road traffic injuries and fatalities. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009, Jan 21. Iss 1. Art No: CD006252.

    Subzwari S, Desapriya E, Scime G, Babul S, Jivani K, Pike I.: Effectiveness of cataract surgery in reducing driving-related difficulties: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Injury Prev. 2008 Oct;14(5):324-8.

    Blair J, Perdios A, Babul S, Young K, Beckles J, Pike I, Cripton P, Sasges D, Mulpuri K, Desapriya E.: The appropriate and inappropriate use of child restraint seats in Manitoba. Int J Injury Cont Safe Promo. 2008 Sept;15(3):151–156.

    Desapriya E, Fujiwara T, Babul S, Scime G, Pike I.: Compulsory child restraint seat law and motor vehicle child occupant deaths and injuries in Japan 1994-2005. Int J Injury Contr Safe Promo. 2008 Jul-Sept;15(2):93-97.

    Blair, J., Perdios, A., Babul, S., Young, K., Beckles, J., Pike, I., Cripton, P., Sasges, D., Mulpuri, K.& Desapriya, E. (2008). The Appropriate and inappropriate use of child restraint seats in Manitoba. International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion; 15(3): 151-6.

    Subzwari, S., Desapriya, E., Scime, G., Babul, S., Jivani, K, & Pike. I.  (2008) Effectiveness of cataract surgery in reducing driving-related difficulties: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  Injury Prevention. 14(5):324-8.

    Desapriya, E., Fujiwara, T., Babul, S., Scime, G. & Pike, I. (2008). Compulsory child restraint seat law and motor vehicle child occupant deaths and injuries in Japan 1994-2005: International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion; 15:2, 93-7.

    Babul, S., Olsen, L., McIntee, P. et al. (2007). A randomized trial to assess the effectiveness of an infant home safety program. International Journal of Injury Control & Safety Promotion; 14(2):109-17.

    Subzwari, S., Desapriya, E., Pike, I., Babul, S. et al. Vision Screening and Prevention of Older Driver Traffic Crashes. Protocol for a Cochrane Review. August 2006.

    Desapriya, E., Babul, S. & Pike, I. (2006). Barriers to Exercise. CMAJ; 175:7.

    Desapriya, E., Pike, I. & Babul, S. (2006). Public attitudes epidemiology and consequences of drinking and driving in British Columbia. Journal of International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences; 30(1):101-10.

    Desapriya, E., Pike, I. & Babul, S. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity. CMAJ; 175(7):776.

    Babul, S., Olsen, L., McIntee, P. et al. (2005). Chilliwack Safebaby Program: A Randomized Control Trial. Injury Prevention, April 2005.

    Bennett M, Babul S, Best T, Lepawsky M, Orchard J, Taunton J. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for delayed onset muscle soreness and closed soft tissue injury (Protocol for a Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library (Issue 2 2004). Chichester, UK : John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    Honours & Awards

    Prevention and Awareness Award, Brain Injury Association of Canada - September 2014

    Research Group Members