Objective: Persisting concussion symptoms may adversely affect return to work and functioning in daily activities. This study compared adults who were initially evaluated < 30 days versus those evaluated ≥ 30 days following a concussion at a specialty concussion clinic to determine if delayed initial evaluation is associated with persisting symptoms during recovery. Method: Participants (N = 205) 18 years of age and older who sustained a concussion and presented to a North Texas Concussion Registry (ConTex) clinic were evaluated at two time points: initial clinical visit and three-month follow-up. Participants provided medical history, injury related information, and completed the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool-5 Symptom Evaluation, Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale (GAD-7), and Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8). Participants were divided into two groups: early and delayed evaluation (±30 days post injury). Results: Number and severity of concussion symptoms were similar between both groups at their initial clinical visit. However, linear regression models showed that a delayed clinical evaluation was associated with a greater number and severity of concussion symptoms along with greater aggravation of symptoms from physical and cognitive activity at three-month follow-up. Conclusions: Individuals who sought care at specialty concussion clinics regardless of previous care 30 or more days following their injury reported more serious persisting concussion symptoms at three month follow-up than those who sought care sooner. Education to improve adults’ recognition of concussions when they occur and obtaining earlier clinical evaluation may represent important opportunities in promoting better recovery and reducing persisting concussion symptoms.
- persisting symptoms
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health