Variations in Time to Recovery from Pediatric Concussion Based on Differing Outcomes of Interest

There is a lack of medical consensus as to what constitutes recovery from a pediatric concussion. A recent study featuring PISC Senior Scholar Daniel Corwin, MD, Executive Committee Member Catherine McDonald, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Senior Scholar Kristy Arbogast, PhD, evaluates variations in time to recovery from a pediatric concussion based on different outcomes of interest. The study includes 174 concussed youth ages 11-18 years. Potential definitions of recovery were created based on self-reported symptoms, Visio-vestibular examinations, and self-assessment. Participants were evaluated during clinical care for up to thirteen weeks. Data analysis reveals a wide variation of concussion recovery. Depending on each definition, 4% to 40% of participants recovered four weeks post-injury, and 10% to 80% of participants recovered in thirteen weeks. Visio-vestibular examination was recovered at the highest proportion at all time, while self-reported return to exercise was recovered at the lowest proportion. These results reinforce the idea that recovery from concussion does not exist at a single point in time. In the future, the team hopes this study will guide “clinicians in managing concussion and researchers in designing future observational and interventional trials of pediatric concussion.”

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