Efficacy of immediate and delayed cognitive and physical rest for treatment of sports-related concussion

J Pediatr. 2012 Nov;161(5):922-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.04.012. Epub 2012 May 22.


Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of cognitive and physical rest for the treatment of concussion.

Study design: High school and collegiate athletes (N = 49) underwent post-concussion evaluations between April 2010 and September 2011 and were prescribed at least 1 week of cognitive and physical rest. Participants were assigned to groups on the basis of the time elapsed between sustaining a concussion and the onset of rest (1-7 days, 8-30 days, 31+ days). Main outcome measures included Concussion Symptom Scale ratings and scores on the 4 composite indices of the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing measure, both before and following rest. Mixed-factorial design ANOVA were used to compare changes on the dependent measures within and between groups.

Results: Participants showed significantly improved performance on Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing and decreased symptom reporting following prescribed cognitive and physical rest (P < .001), regardless of the time between concussion and onset of rest (P = .44).

Conclusion: These preliminary data suggest that a period of cognitive and physical rest may be a useful means of treating concussion-related symptoms, whether applied soon after a concussion or weeks to months later.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletes
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis
  • Brain Concussion / therapy*
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Statistical
  • Neuroimaging / methods
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • New Jersey
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / therapy*
  • Rest
  • Sports
  • Time Factors