Kids With Concussion Symptoms Face More Academic Problems
Written by Editor   
Thursday, May 28, 2015 07:21 PM

Students still experiencing concussion symptoms were more likely to report an impact on their performance in school compared with students who were no longer symptomatic, according to the results of a small survey.

Active concussion symptoms were associated with more problems in school and worse academic effects, regardless of when the concussion occurred.  The majority of symptomatic students (88%) reported at least one problem related to school (headaches, fatigue, and problems concentrating) and 77% reported diminished academic skills (difficulty taking notes, spending more time on homework, problems studying).

Students were divided into two groups: actively symptomatic (Rc- group) and no longer symptomatic (Rc+ group). Both groups of students were evaluated using the Post-Concussion Symptom Inventory (PCSI) form, with the Rc- group reporting a higher level of impaired neurocognitive scores than the Rc+ group.

In the Rc+ group, 38% of students reported problems in school and 44% reported academic effects. While students in the Rc+ group were less likely than those in the Rc-group to report having trouble in more than one class, the authors note that 48% of Rc+ students did report trouble in class while recovering from concussion symptoms.  "Symptom severity was positively correlated with the total number school problems reported by students and parents," they added.

"Once kids are back to school, our findings suggest that they need a set of individualized support that really takes the symptoms that a given child is experiencing into account, and the healthcare professional plays a huge role in identifying what those symptoms are," she said. "So it really becomes a twofold experience where members of the medical community are working with patients and families and then bridging over to academic personnel as well."

"No one return-to-school plan is going to work for every kid, and that's just because kids have different symptom presentations, they have different severity of their symptoms, and their symptoms follow different courses."  "What we want to do is really examine what evidence there is for various clinical approaches and what the best evidence-based recommendations might be to help kids returning to school."