Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Prognosis for Persistent Post Concussion Symptoms using a Multifaceted Objective Gait and Balance Assessment Approach.

TitlePrognosis for Persistent Post Concussion Symptoms using a Multifaceted Objective Gait and Balance Assessment Approach.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsHowell DR, Mayer AR, Master CL, Leddy JJ, Zemek RL, Meier TB, Yeates KOwen, Arbogast KB, Mannix R, Meehan WP
JournalGait Posture
Date Published2020 Apr 20
Keywordsdual-task, mild traumatic brain injury, postural stability

BACKGROUND: Concussion prognosis is a challenging clinical task. Identification of measures useful for persistent symptom risk can help optimize treatment pathways and allow clinicians to offer appropriate anticipatory guidance.

RESEARCH QUESTION: Can a multifaceted single/dual-task postural control assessment within one week of a diagnosed concussion identify the odds of developing persistent post-concussion symptoms (PPCS; symptoms that persist for more than 28 days post-concussion)?

METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study of youth and young adult athletes who were evaluated within 7 days of injury, and followed until they no longer reported concussion symptoms. Participants were grouped into those who developed PPCS and those who did not. During the initial evaluation, participants completed a postural control evaluation in single/dual-task conditions. We calculated six gait performance variables (in single/dual-task conditions), nine quiet stance performance variables, and three cognitive task performance (standing and walking) variables. We conducted between-group comparisons to identify candidate PPCS prognostic variables, and multivariable models to adjust for covariates (age, post-injury evaluation time, history of concussion, and BMI).

RESULTS: Sixty-six participants completed the study: 24% reported PPCS (mean age = 16.9 ± 3.5 years; 50% female; evaluated 4.2 ± 1.9 days post-injury) and 74% (mean age = 18.3 ± 3.0 years; 52% female; evaluated 3.5 ± 1.6 days post-injury) did not. Between-group comparisons indicated greater dual-task transverse plane center-of-mass (COM) range of motion (ROM) (13.1 ± 4.3 vs. 9.9 ± 2.5 degrees; p = 0.013) and lateral step variability (5.1 ± 1.4 vs. 4.0 ± 1.2 cm; p = 0.003) for the PPCS group relative to the no PPCS group. After multivariable modeling, dual-task transverse plane COM ROM (adjusted odds ratio = 1.34, 95% CI = 1.07, 1.68) and lateral step variability (adjusted odds ratio = 1.85, 95% CI = 1.13, 3.05) were significantly associated with PPCS.

SIGNIFICANCE: Dual-task transverse plane movement and lateral step variability demonstrate viable prognostic ability for PPCS among youth and young adult athletes and, along with other established factors, may add incremental value to PPCS prognosis models.

Alternate JournalGait Posture
PubMed ID32361125