Objective: To evaluate children's self-efficacy related to their practice of physical activities prior to and after a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), and compare these to those of noninjured children matched for age, sex, and premorbid level of physical activity.
Participants and methods: Thirty-four children (mean age: 12 +/- 3 years) in each group. Children with mTBI were assessed 1 day postinjury (to document preinjury status) and at 12 weeks post-mTBI using a self-efficacy questionnaire, the Physical Activity Questionnaire, the Athletic Competence subscale of the Self-Perception Profile for Children or Adolescents, and the Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire. Noninjured children underwent the same assessments at a corresponding time interval.
Results: At 12 weeks postinjury, self-efficacy scores of children with mTBI were significantly lower than initial (ie, pretraumatic) values and those of noninjured children. The children with mTBI had, however, returned to their preinjury level of participation in physical activities and maintained their athletic competence.
Conclusions: After mTBI, children appear to lack confidence in their ability to perform during physical activities as compared to before their injury. Intervention strategies such as information or counseling sessions targeting children and their parents may minimize the impact of the mTBI on children's confidence in their performance in physical activities.