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Clinical characteristics, referral patterns and time to recovery in youth and adults following a sport-related concussion (src)
  1. Katie MacGregor1,
  2. Christine Atkins1,2,
  3. Tracy Blake3,
  4. Micah Ziel1,
  5. Kathryn Schneider2,4,5
  1. 1University of Calgary Sports Medicine Centre, Calgary
  2. 2Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary
  3. 3Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Alberta
  4. 4Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  5. 5Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Cummings School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Abstract

Objective To describe the clinical characteristics, referral patterns and time to recovery in an acute sport-related concussion (SRC) clinic population.

Design Prospective Case Series

Setting Acute Sport Concussion Clinic (ASCC)

Participants Patients aged 13-60 years seen within 4 weeks of SRC at the ASCC from September 2015–April 2016.

Outcome measures Frequency, proportions, medians and interquartile ranges (IQR) were used to describe sex, age group, time from injury to assessment, referral sources, time to recovery (days), referrals to additional services, and attrition.

Results ASCC assessments were requested by 111 patients a median of 9 days (IQR:4-17) post-concussion [33% female; 60 children [median age 15 years (IQR:14-16)], 51 adults [median age 31 years (IQR:21-42)]; attrition rate=10%]. Referral sources included: self-referral [n=94 (85%)], emergency department [n=9 (8%)], primary care physician [n=7 (5%)], and athletic therapist (n=1). Initial assessment occurred a median of 7 days (IQR:2-9) following the evaluation request. Patients underwent a standardised assessment including symptom scores, neurological, cervical spine and vestibulo-ocular screening a median of 17 days (IQR:9-25) post-concussion. There were 94 (85%) patients with clinical findings of cervical spine and/or vestibulo-ocular dysfunction. Treatment was received by 71/94 (76%) of patients with observed dysfunction. Medical clearance to return to play occurred a median of 30 days (IQR:21-107) post-concussion (n=51) .

Conclusions A novel direct-access clinic specific to SRC assists in early triage, leading to expedited assessment, management and treatment in the early post-concussion period. Focused assessment assists in management and recovery with accelerated referral to appropriate services.

Competing interests None.

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