Can The Type of Concussion Symptom Predict How Long Recovery Will Take?


A study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation investigated whether certain symptoms of concussion can predict how long the recovery will take. Dr. Michael Robinson, Ph.D. lead the team publishing Two Symptoms to Triage Acute Concussions Using Decision Tree Modeling to Predict Prolonged Recovery After a Concussion.

The team works from Western University in London. They took the existing “Sport concussion assessment tool 5th edition symptom evaluation” guidelines and evaluated them.

What was the objective of the study?

“The objective was to examine the 22 variables from the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool’s 5th Edition Symptom Evaluation using a decision tree analysis to identify those most likely to predict prolonged recovery after a sport-related concussion.”

They used a decision tree approach to determine the symptoms most likely to predict the prolonged recovery of individuals with sport-related concussion. Their study looked at 273 individuals with a mean age of 21 and 53% male/47% female.

What did they find?

It appears that of the 22 symptoms studied only 2 contributed to predicting length of recovery. Sadness and ‘brain fog’ were both statistically tied to a longer recovery period.

What does this mean?

It provides more information for clinicians to use in their treatment trees to identify which patients are at a higher risk of prolonged symptoms post-concussion.

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