Time to Authorized Clearance from Sport-Related Concussion

When returning to play following sport-related concussions (SRCs), athletes often have to receive clearance from a healthcare provider (HCP). However, factors such as different pre- and post-initial examination HCPs and type of medical facility, among others, may influence authorized clearance time between athletes. Led by PISC postdoctoral fellow Abby Bretzin, PhD, and contributed to by Center Director Douglas Wiebe, PhD, this study examined 16,001 high school student athletes with SRCs. It found that there was an association between initial examiner and medical facility providing clearance for athletic directors, athletic trainers, coaches, and nurse practitioners. 63.9% of athletes received clearance by an MD, and median time to authorized clearance significantly varied between urgent/ready care facilities, hospitals, primary care physicians' offices, team physicians, and neurologists' offices. These results could prompt further investigation into the disparities between return to play time and facility, as well as what prompts athletes to choose certain facilities.

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