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158 Physical and cognitive activity in youth post-concussion: relationship between objective and self-reported measures
  1. Lindsay Sullivan,
  2. Keith Owen Yeates,
  3. Junxin Shi,
  4. Niki Asa,
  5. Amanda Hautmann,
  6. Jingzhen Yang
  1. Center for Injury Research and Policy, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH, USA


Statement of Purpose Current clinical guidelines call for a brief period of rest post-concussion, followed by a gradual return to activities. However, studies to date have relied primarily on self-reported measures to identify levels of rest needed to promote concussion recovery.This study assessed the relationship between objectively measured and self-reported physical and cognitive activities (the inverse of rest) in concussed youth for a period of 7 days post-injury.

Methods Youth ages 11 to 17 were enrolled within 72 hours following a physician-diagnosed concussion. We monitored participants’ physical and cognitive activities, including activity duration and intensity, for a 7-day period using an Actigraph (to measure physical activity) and a Narrative Clip (to measure cognitive activity). Participants also completed a daily survey that captured data on their physicial and cognitive activities as well as their post-concussive symptoms from enrollment until symptom resolution.

Results A total of 83 concussed youth (Mean age=14.2 years ± 1.9 years) were included, with most being males (65.1%), white (72.3%), and injured in a sporting activity (84.3%). The average symptom score at injury was 39.5. Over half (54.2%) of youth experienced symptoms for >2 weeks. We found no significant correlations between objectively measured and self-reported level of physical activity (duration X intensity). There were only weak correlations between objectively measured and self-reported cognitive activities by level of activity (low: r=0.16, p=0.0022; medium: r=0.16, p=0.0111; high: r=0.31, <0.0001), although correlation coeficients were statistically significant.

Conclusions Our findings suggest that Actigraphy is a better tool for measuring physical activity post-concussion than self-reported measures. Additional research is needed to validate tools that measure physical and cognitive activity post-concussion.

Significance and Contributions This study furthers our knowledge of objective tools for monitoring physical and cognitive activity post-concussion. Findings of this study provide insight on how best to measure physical and cognitive activity post-concussion.

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