Research Reports - Adolescent health-related quality of life at 1 year postconcussion

J Athl Train. 2015 Oct 28. [Epub ahead of print]

Iadevaia C(1), Roiger T(1), Zwart MB(1).

CONTEXT:   Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries can negatively influence
health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in adolescent patients. The effect of
sport-related concussion on adolescent HRQOL remains unclear.
OBJECTIVE:   To investigate the perceptions of adolescent student-athletes and
their parents regarding the adolescents' HRQOL 1 year after sport-related
concussion.
DESIGN:   Qualitative study.
SETTING:   Secondary school.
PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS:   Seven adolescent student-athletes (age range,
12-16 years) who sustained a sport-related concussion at least 1 year (15.3 ± 2.8
months) before the study participated along with their primary care-giving
parents (n = 7).
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:   Fourteen semistructured face-to-face interviews
(7 adolescents, 7 parents) were completed. Interviews were transcribed and
inductively analyzed by a team of 3 athletic trainers with 32 combined years of
professional experience. Themes were negotiated through a consensual review
process. Participant checks were completed to ensure trustworthiness of the
results.
RESULTS:   Four major themes emerged from the interviews: (1) significant effect
of symptoms, (2) feelings of frustration, (3) influence on school attendance and
activities, and (4) nature of interpersonal and team relationships. Participants
indicated that the physical symptoms of the concussion substantially affected
their emotional and academic function. The influence of the concussion on social
interactions seemed to depend on the nature of interpersonal relationships.
CONCLUSIONS:   Sport-related concussion can negatively influence physical and
emotional function, academics, and interpersonal interactions as perceived by
adolescent student-athletes and their parents. Education of parents and their
children, school professionals, coaches, and teammates remains critical to
effectively recognize and manage sport-related concussion. Secondary school
districts play a critical role in the concussion-management process by
establishing and implementing accommodation policies that alleviate student
concerns about falling behind while ensuring a healthy return to normal school
routines. Furthermore, adolescent support systems must be considered throughout
the recovery process. 

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