A Within-Subjects Comparison of Clinical Outcomes for Patients’ First and Second Concussions

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2020 Dec;

French, J., Jennings, S., Eagle, S. R., Collins, M. W., & Kontos, A. P..



OBJECTIVES: To examine the difference between an individual’s first and second concussion using a comprehensive, multidomain assessment including symptoms, neurocognitive, vestibular, ocular, and individual demographic and medical history risk factors associated with protracted recovery. SETTING: Concussion Specialty Clinic. PARTICIPANTS: Seventy-three patients (aged 13-21 years; 57% female) diagnosed with 2 separate concussions (380.5 +/- 278.7 days between injuries) from August 2016 to August 2018. DESIGN: Retrospective within-subjects cohort study. MAIN MEASURES: ImPACT, PCSS, and Vestibular-Ocular Motor Screen (VOMS) at each visit. Patients were divided into “normal” (30 days) for chi analyses. RESULTS: There were no differences between the first and second injuries in recovery time, VOMS, visual and verbal memory, or reaction time. Visual motor speed scores were higher at the second injury time point and reported sleep symptoms were higher at the first injury time point. In addition, participants reported to the clinic on average 3 days earlier for an evaluation for their second injury. Results from chi analyses indicated that female sex predicted protracted recovery (>30 days) from concussion at the first injury time point (OR = 4.1; 95% CI, 1.5-11.6; P = .006). CONCLUSIONS: The findings provide preliminary evidence that there is no clinical difference between patients’ first and second concussions when both injuries were treated through a concussion specialty clinic.

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