THE IMPACT OF MECHANISM OF INJURY ON POSTCONCUSSIVE SYMPTOMS
AYLWARD, STEPHANIE A
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The complex factors associated with assessment and treatment of pediatric concussion are still not well understood. Currently, the majority of pediatric concussion research focuses on sport-related concussions (SRC), despite the large number of youth who sustain non-sport-related concussions (NSRC). Because participation in sports represents an important pre- and post-injury factor that can affect postconcussive outcomes for youth, the aim of this study was to examine differences in youth diagnosed with SRC compared to NSRC (e.g., fall, gym injury, motor vehicle accident, accidental blunt trauma, assault). Participants included 298 children/adolescents (8- to18-years) who sustained a concussion (212 = SRC). Neuropsychological measures and questionnaires were administered to assess working memory (Auditory Consonant Trigram Test; ACT), memory (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing; ImPACT), attention (Conners’ Continuous Performance Test, 2nd Ed.; CPT-II), reading and math fluency (Woodcock-Johnson, 3rd and 4th Ed.; WJ-III; WJ-IV), and parent- and self-report of executive function (Behavior Rating of Executive Function; BRIEF) and internalizing symptoms (Behavior Assessment System for Children, 2nd Ed.; BASC-2). A MANCOVA (days since injury as covariate) was conducted to examine differences between youth with SRC compared to youth with NSRC. As predicted, youth with NSRC performed significantly worse than youth with SRC on the ACT, ImPACT Memory, and WJ math fluency. Contrary to hypotheses, there were no differences between groups on the CPTII, WJ reading fluency, BRIEF, or BASC-2. Results of this study provide clinically relevant information regarding how mechanism of injury impacts postconcussive recovery in youth.