Active rehabilitation for children who are slow to recover following sport-related concussion

Brain Inj. 2009 Nov;23(12):956-64. doi: 10.3109/02699050903373477.


Primary objective: To present an innovative approach to the management of children who are slow to recover after a sport-related concussion.

Research design: The article describes the underlying principles and the development of specific interventions for a new rehabilitation programme as well as preliminary data on pre- and post-rehabilitation changes in outcome measures.

Methods and procedures: Development of the intervention was done using multiple perspectives including that of the literature, of experts in the field of traumatic brain injury and of experienced clinicians involved with the paediatric and adolescent MTBI clientele. A logic model was developed providing sound theoretical background to the intervention. The intervention was implemented and evaluated with a sample of 16 children and adolescents.

Main outcomes and results: The presented cases suggest that involvement in controlled and closely monitored rehabilitation in the post-acute period may promote recovery in children and adolescents who present with atypical recovery following a concussion. All 16 of the children and adolescents who participated in the programme experienced a relatively rapid recovery and returned to their normal lifestyles and sport participation.

Conclusions: A gradual, closely-supervised active rehabilitation programme in the post-acute period (i.e. after 1 month post-injury) appears promising to improve the care provided to children who are slow to recover.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Brain Concussion / physiopathology
  • Brain Concussion / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests / standards*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors