Comparative incidence of concussion and return to play time in two Canadian minor hockey groups over the 2011–2012 season

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Abstract

Objective

Report concussion incidence and Return to Play (RTP) times over a minor hockey season (2011–12) in two sub-groups, a community hockey association (A) and a private hockey academy (B).

Design

Retrospective, cohort study.

Setting

Elite hockey players from A and B.

Subjects

354 subjects in two sub-groups. A: 222 (191 Males/31 Females). B: 132 (114 Males/18 Females).

Intervention

Subjects were educated and baseline tested at the start of the 2011–12 season using Symptom Inventory, SCAT2, BESS and neuro-cognitive testing. The Zurich 2008 RTP protocol was utilised. Subjects were followed with serial testing until recovered to baseline or within 5% of baseline. Medical authorisation was given to RTP.

Outcome Measures

The incidence of concussion and the average RTP in the two groups.

Results

A. Concussion incidence –

Results

Overall 23%

Results

 ▸ A 18% (n=39)

Results

 ▸ B 32% (n=42)

Results

B. RTP (Average No. Days to RTP)

Results

Overall: 22

Results

 ▸ A: 27

Results

 ▸ B: 14

Conclusions

Concussion incidence approximated that reported by Echlin. The higher incidence in the B group reflects the experience of coaches and full-time athletic therapists in recognising and dealing with concussions, and a willingness to report concussion injury. Overall RTP time was longer in both groups than the previously reported 12.8 days average. For B, the RTP time was less than A (14 vs 27 days), reflecting daily access to supportive care (athletic therapists and physician), daily access to the gym for Steps 2 and 3, and daily ice-time for Steps 4 and 5 of the RTP protocol.

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