Gender differences in recovery from sport related concussion

Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology -


Schnakenberg-Ott, S. D., J. E. Pardini, J. J. Ryan and M. R. Lovell.



Objective: In the general TBI literature, females tend to exhibit poorer outcomes than males in recovery from injury. However, few studies have explored gender differences in recovery following sports concussion. The purpose of the present study is to assess gender differences in symptoms and neurocogntive recovery following sports-related concussion. Method: The sample consisted of 30 males and 33 females (mean age = 15.49; S.D. = 1.63) who had sustained a concussion while playing either soccer (75%) or basketball (25%). Participants were administered the ImPACT computerized test battery and the Post Concussion Symptom Scale as part of a standard neuropsychological evaluation. Athletes were considered recovered and were returned to play when they were asymptomatic and cognitive scores were within expected limits. Results: There was no significant difference in recovery time by gender, though a trend toward longer recovery in females was observed (p = .07). There were no significant gender differences in ImPACT composite scores or total symptom score during initial or final evaluation. Examination of individual symptom report by gender revealed increased endorsement of photosensitivity (Chi Square = 5.42; p = .02) and a trend towardincreased difficulty falling asleep (Chi Square = 3.65; p = .056) in females. Conclusions: Results of this study revealed no significant differences between males and females in terms of days to recover. Overall, both males and females demonstrated a typical decline in cognitive scores after concussion when compared to baseline. These scores appeared to return to pre injury levels when recovered. Few gender differences were found in symptoms endorsed following concussion.

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