Our study aims were to identify the frequency of continued play following sport-related concussion (SRC), defined as continuing athletic activity on the same day following a suspected SRC, characteristics associated with continued play, and whether continued play was associated with worse outcomes. A prospective study of participants ages 13–18 years diagnosed with SRC at a pediatric sports medicine clinic over a 4-year period was conducted. A comparison was performed between athletes who reported continued play following SRC (PLAY) and those who did not (NO PLAY). Of 441 participants, 231 (52.4%) were in the PLAY group. The PLAY group recalled less severe balance problems from the day of injury (p = 0.02), but reported greater symptoms of trouble falling asleep, concentrating, and remembering at their initial clinic visit (p < 0.05). There was no difference in recovery time between groups. Greater symptom severity score at the initial clinic visit and longer time to presentation were associated with prolonged recovery in both groups (p < 0.01). In conclusion, more than half of the athletes in this sample continued to play on the same day following SRC. Our results indicate the need for a heightened focus on education and additional efforts to reduce continued play following SRC in adolescents.
- continue to play
- sport-related concussion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology