Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Activity and recovery among youth with concussion: A meta-analysis

Rochelle Chauhan, Anika Cheng, Rebecca Tsow, Brodie M. Sakakibara, Shelina Babul, Julia Schmidt. Activity and Recovery Among Youth With Concussion: A Meta-analysis. Pediatrics (2023) 151 (5): e2022059592. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2022-059592


Concussions in youth are highly prevalent. Previously, rest was prescribed to prevent adverse outcomes; however, early return to activity is emerging to improve the recovery trajectory.


To evaluate the effectiveness of early return to physical and social activity interventions on recovery outcomes in youth with concussion.


A systematic review was conducted up to October 2022.


We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-RCTs that reported effects of activity-based interventions on symptoms, quality-of-life (QoL), and return to preinjury activity levels in children and youth after a concussion.


Three authors independently extracted data on publication year and country, study setting and design, sample size, participant demographics, intervention, outcome(s), and author conclusion. Meta-analysis was conducted on appropriate RCTs.


Twenty-four studies were included in the final review, of which 10 were RCTs. There was a significant effect of activity interventions on symptom reporting (standardized mean difference, 0.39 [95% confidence interval, 0.15 to 0.63]; I2, 0%; P = .002). There was not a significant effect of activity-based interventions on QoL (mean difference, −0.91 [95% confidence interval, −7.76 to 5.94]; I2, 0%; P = .79). No meta-analysis was performed on return to preinjury activity levels because of insufficient number of RCTs conducted.


One outcome was excluded from the meta-analysis. Interventions emphasizing social activity were lacking.


Findings indicate that activity-based interventions may significantly improve concussion symptoms. There is insufficient data to understand the effect of activity-based intervention on QoL and return to preinjury activity levels.

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