Objective: To evaluate the evidence regarding (1) factors affecting return to school (RTS) and (2) strategies/accommodations for RTS following a sport-related concussion (SRC) in children and adolescents.
Design: A systematic review of original studies specifically addressing RTS following concussion in the paediatric and sporting context.
Data sources: MEDLINE (Ovid), Embase (Ovid), PsycInfo (Ovid) electronic databases and the grey literature OpenGrey, ClinicalTrials.gov and Google Advanced.
Eligibility criteria: Studies were included if they were original research on RTS following SRC in children aged 5-18 years published in English between 1985 and 2017.
Results: A total of 180 articles were identified; 17 articles met inclusion criteria. Several factors should be considered for RTS after concussion, including: symptomatology; rest following injury; age/grade; and course load. On RTS after concussion, 17%-73% of students were provided academic accommodations or experienced difficulty with RTS. Students were more likely to obtain academic accommodations in schools with a concussion policy if they had a medical RTS letter and had regular medical follow-up after concussion.
Conclusions: Schools should have a concussion policy and offer individualised academic accommodations to students recovering from SRC on RTS; a medical letter should be provided to facilitate provision/receipt of academic accommodations; students should have early, regular medical follow-up following SRC to help with RTS and monitor recovery; students may require temporary absence from school after SRC; clinicians should assess risk factors/modifiers that may prolong recovery and require more intensive academic accommodations.
Prospero registration number: CRD42016039184.
Keywords: adolescent; children; concussion; school; sport.
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