Athletes who delay reporting concussion may have longer recovery times
Athletes who did not immediately report concussion symptoms and continued to play had a greater chance for prolonged recovery than athletes who immediately reported symptoms and were removed from play, according to recently published results in the Journal of Athletic Training.
“The acute effects of concussion and what it does to the brain are becoming better understood at this point, but some cases it is still not enough to convince athletes that is important to report an injury or remove themselves immediately from play,” study author Breton M. Asken, MS, ATC, said in a press release from the University of Florida. “What this study might add is context the athlete can relate to, and that is how much time they may miss from their sport. Immediate reporting of concussion symptoms allows for proper management at the point of injury and gives athletes the best opportunity to return to their sport more quickly.”
Asken and colleagues performed a cross-sectional study on 97 athletes with sport-related concussions from the University of Florida Concussion Databank. Investigators grouped patients as either having immediate or delayed removal from activity. Normal recovery, defined as 7 days or fewer, was compared with prolonged recovery, defined as at least 8 days. Investigators used two-step hierarchal regression analysis to assess the correlation between removal of activity and days missed until clearance for return.
Results indicated 50 athletes did not immediately report symptoms of concussion. On average, athletes with delayed removal from activity missed 4.9 more days compared with athletes who were immediately removed. Investigators noted the days missed were predicted by membership in the specific removal from activity group, even after controlling findings for sex, concussion history, learning disability or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, diagnosed psychological condition and acute symptom severity. According to researchers, athletes with delayed removal from activity had a 2.2-times greater chance for prolonged recovery compared with athletes immediately removed from activity. ‒ by Monica Jaramillo
Asken BM, et al. J Athl Train. 2016;doi:10.405/1062-6050-51.5.02.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.