Objective: To identify the clinical factors that influence the duration of postconcussion symptoms among youth referred to a sports concussion clinic.
Study design: A retrospective cohort study was conducted to evaluate several potential predictors of symptom duration via a Cox proportional hazards analyses. The individual postconcussion symptom scores were highly correlated, so these symptoms were analyzed in the statistical model as coefficients derived from principal component analyses.
Results: Among 1953 youth with concussion, 1755 (89.9%) had dates of reported symptom resolution. The remainder (10.1%) were lost to follow-up and censored. The median time to recovery was 18 days (range 1-353 days). By 30 days, 72.6% had recovered; by 60 days, 91.4% had recovered; and by 90 days, 96.8% had recovered. Several variables in a multivariate Cox model predicted postconcussion symptom duration: female sex (P < .001, hazard ratio [HR] = 1.28), continued activity participation (P = .02, HR = 1.13), loss of consciousness (P = .03, HR = 1.18), anterograde amnesia (P = .04, HR = 1.15), premorbid headaches (P = .03, HR = 1.15), symptom components from the day of concussion (emotion, P = .03, HR = 1.08), and the day of clinic evaluation (cognitive-fatigue, P < .001, HR = 1.22; cephalalgic, P < .001, HR = 1.27; emotional, P = .05, HR = 1.08; arousal-stimulation, P = .003, HR = 1.1). In univariate analyses, greater symptom scores generally predicted longer symptom durations. Worsening of symptoms from the day of concussion to the day of clinic evaluation also predicted longer recovery (P < .001, HR = 1.59).
Conclusions: Several factors help to predict protracted postconcussion symptom durations among youth referred to a sports concussion clinic.
Keywords: TBI; adolescent; mTBI; pediatric; traumatic brain injury.
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