Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Evidence based journal watch

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


 There is a lack of empirical data on the recovery time following sport related concussion and this makes clinical decision about return to play difficult.

Research question/s:
 What are the immediate effects and what is the natural recovery course (symptoms, cognitive functioning, and postural stability) following sport related concussion?

Methodology:Subjects: 1631 football players from 15 colleges in the USA.

Experimental procedure: All players underwent preseason baseline testing on concussion assessment measures in 1999, 2000, and 2001. 94 players with concussion (CONC group; based on American Academy of Neurology criteria) and 56 non-injured controls (CON group) underwent assessment of symptoms, cognitive functioning, and postural stability at 3 hours, and 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 90 days post injury (84% compliance).

Measures of outcome: Scores on the Graded Symptom Checklist (GSC), Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC), Balance Error Scoring System (BESS), and a neuropsychological test battery.

Main finding/s:
 The CONC group exhibited more severe symptoms (GSC score 20.93 [95% CI 15.65 to 26.21] points higher than CON), cognitive impairment (SAC score 2.94 [95% CI 1.50 to 4.38] points lower than CON), and balance problems (BESS score 5.81 [95% CI -0.67 to 12.30] points higher than CON) immediately after concussion. Symptoms gradually resolved by day 7 (GSC mean difference 0.33; 95% CI -1.41 to 2.06), cognitive functioning improved to baseline levels within 5–7 days (day 7 SAC mean difference -0.03; 95% CI -1.33 to 1.26), and balance deficits dissipated within 3–5 days after injury (day 5 BESS mean difference -0.31; 95% CI -3.02 to 2.40).

Embedded Image

Mild impairments in cognitive processing and verbal memory evident on neuropsychological testing 2 days after concussion resolved by day 7.

There were no significant differences in symptoms or functional impairments in the CONC and CON groups 90 days after concussion.

Conclusion/s: …

View Full Text