Return to School after Sports-Related Concussion
Wilson, Laura Diane
The purpose of this study was to describe return to school after sports-related concussion, including absences, academic performance, receipt of accommodations, and satisfaction of the parent/child with classroom accommodations and the return-to-school experience. We conducted telephone surveys of 83 families (78 parent-child dyads, 5 parents) a median of 276 days following concussion. Students missed a median of 2 days of school following concussion. There was a positive relationship between number of reported school-related problems and absences in the child-reported data only. There was a positive relationship between number of absences and symptom severity in both the parent and child-reported data. Return to academic baseline was reported by 86.7% of parents and 92.3% of children. Return to academic baseline was more likely in children with fewer school-related problems per parent report, and more likely in younger students and those with a lower symptom severity scores per child report. Academic accommodations were provided to 73.5% of children per parent report and 76.9% of children per child report. Receipt of accommodations was related to parent communication with the school, physician recommendation for accommodations, number of post-concussion school-related problems, and increased absences per parent report. No relationships were found between receipt of accommodations and investigated variables in the child-reported data. The majority of parents (81.9%) and children (82.1%) reported being satisfied with the school’s response to accommodating the child’s needs following concussion. Satisfaction with receipt of accommodations was higher for children who received accommodations and/or who returned to academic baseline, according to both parent and child-reported data. Parent income was positively associated with satisfaction with accommodations in the parent-reported data only. Similarly, 89.2% of parents and 85.9% of children reported being satisfied with the overall return-to-school experience. Satisfaction with the overall return-to-school experience was related to receipt of accommodations in both the parent and child-reported data, but was related to return to academic baseline only in the child-reported data. There was no significant relationship between other investigated variables and satisfaction outcomes. Findings highlight the continued need for policies and education of stakeholders to insure appropriate academic management of concussions in students.