Characteristics and outcomes of athletes with slow recovery from sport-related concussion

Review written by Shruti Nambiar info

Key Points

  1. Player sex, injury characteristics and severity are primary predictors for recovery in the first four weeks.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Several studies have demonstrated that the majority (80% to 90%) of high school and college patients were asymptomatic within two weeks post-concussion (1). However, 10% to 13% remained symptomatic at three months and one-year post-injury (1). Loss of consciousness, post-traumatic and retrograde amnesia, greater symptom severity, history of prior concussion, drowsiness, nausea, concentration problems and other symptoms have shown to be predictors of delayed recovery among concussed youth athletes (1). Defining slow recovery among concussed athletes has been challenging due to variability, with some studies using seven days and others up to 21 days as a cut-off (1,2).

Therefore, this study aims to operationalize a definition for slow recovery and provide a long-term prognosis for athletes who experience it.

Several studies have demonstrated that the majority (80% to 90%) of high school and college patients were asymptomatic within two weeks post-concussion (1).
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Depression, anxiety, perceived stress, mental health…social support, an athlete's sense of identity and internal or external pressure influence return to sport clearance decisions post-concussion.

METHODS

The study recruited 34,709 varsity athletes and cadets from 26 US universities and military service academies. All participants completed at least one pre-injury baseline evaluation.

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