The Influence of Psychological and Lifestyle Factors on the Reporting of Postconcussion-Like Symptoms


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Abstract

Self-reported symptoms are an integral part of the assessment and management of a sports-related concussion. However, postconcussion-like symptoms are reported by non-concussed individuals. Moreover, the current best practice in the reporting of symptoms does not take into account the potential influence of psychological and lifestyle factors. This study aimed to explore the influence of these factors on the reporting of postconcussion-like symptoms. University students (N= 603) completed the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2 postconcussion symptom scale along with other predictor variables via a cross-sectional web-based survey. Linear regression analyses revealed six modifiers contributing to the total symptom score with the strongest being alcohol consumption (Estimate = 2.75, p < .001). Following these findings, clinicians need to exercise caution when interpreting the symptom scores for making decisions on the return-to-play (RTP). A failure to do so may lead the health professional to either prematurely RTP or not clear the concussed athlete to resume their sport.

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