Consequences of Sport-Related Concussion on Health-Related Quality of Life in Adolescents: A Critically Appraised Topic

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Mary Margaret Williamson Department of Health Science, Athletic Training Program, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA

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Jessica Wallace Department of Health Science, Athletic Training Program, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA

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Clinical Scenario: Sport-related concussions (SRCs) are a prevalent and problematic injury occurring among adolescents participating in sports. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) has been shown to be affected in a portion of adolescents recovering from SRCs, though the exact nature of the relationship has yet to be firmly established for this age group through the duration and completion of recovery. HRQoL can be a nebulous construct but is often described as multifaceted and demonstrates effects of an illness, injury, or condition on one’s overall well-being, encompassing satisfaction and comfortability of physical, psychosocial, sleep, and cognitive attributes. Clinical Question: How do adolescents diagnosed with sport-related concussion perceive changes in health-related quality of life domain measures throughout recovery? Summary of Key Findings: Four studies met the inclusion criteria, including 1 longitudinal prospective case series and 3 longitudinal prospective cohort studies. The literature indicated that adolescents who sustained an SRC reported an initial immediate decrease in overall HRQoL as well as domains including cognitive, physical, school, and sleep. This initial decrease was particularly notable in those with delayed recovery or those diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome. Despite the initial decrease, all participants of varying SRC recovery duration reportedly returned to healthy, normative levels of HRQoL upon recovery. Clinical Bottom Line: Adolescents reportedly experience initial decreases in various HRQoL domains immediately after SRC but appear to rebound to a healthy status upon recovery regardless of recovery duration. Strength of Recommendation: Results of the review of 4 longitudinal studies established level B evidence.

Williamson (williamsonmarymargaret@gmail.com) is corresponding author.

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