Objectives: To characterize symptom burden, school function, and physical activity in youth 1 year following acute concussion and those with subsequent repeat concussion.
Study design: Secondary analysis of Predicting Persistent Postconcussive Problems in Pediatrics prospective, multicenter cohort study conducted in 9 Canadian emergency departments. Participants were children between ages 5 and 18 years who presented consecutively ≤48 hours of concussion and agreed to participate in a post hoc electronic survey 1 year after injury. Outcomes were assessed using a standardized 25-question symptom scale derived from the Post-Concussion Symptom Inventory-Parent; school function and physical activity outcomes were queried. The primary outcome was total symptom score 1 year following concussion, defined as the number of symptoms experienced more than before injury.
Results: Of 3052 youth enrolled in the Predicting Persistent Postconcussive Problems in Pediatrics study, 432 (median [IQR] age, 11.5 [9,14] years; 266 [62%] male) completed the 1-year survey; 34 respondents reported a repeat concussion. Following acute concussion, youth were more likely to be symptom-free than following repeat concussion (75% vs 50%; difference = 25% [95% CI 8-41]; P = .002) and to have recovered fully (90% vs 74%; difference = 17% [95% CI 5-34]; P = .002) after 1 year. Although physical symptoms were less 1 year after initial emergency department presentation for both groups (P < .001), youth with a repeat concussion reported greater headache persistence (26% vs 13%; difference = 13% [95% CI 1,31]; P = .024). Both groups returned to their normal school routine (100% vs 95%; difference = 5% [95% CI -5 to 8; P = .618). Youth without repeat concussion more frequently returned to normal physical activities (98% vs 85%; difference = 13% [95% CI 4-28]; P < .0001) and sport (95% vs 82%; difference = 13% [95% CI 3-29]; P = .009).
Conclusions: Most youth are symptom-free and fully recovered 1 year following concussion. Some children with repeat concussion have worse outcomes and have delays in returning to normal school routines and sport.
Keywords: concussion; physical activity; recovery; symptoms; youth.
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