Variables associated with days of school missed following concussion: results from the Sport Concussion Outcomes in PEdiatrics (SCOPE) study

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Physician and Sportsmedicine


Objective: To understand factors associated with missed academic time after concussion to improve support for patients. Our goal was to assess patient-specific predictors of total school time lost after pediatric/adolescent concussion. Study Design: We performed a prospective cohort study of children and adolescents (8–18 years of age) seen within 14 days of concussion from seven pediatric medical centers across the United States. We collected outcomes via the Concussion Learning Assessment & School Survey (CLASS) and constructed a multivariable predictive model evaluating patient factors associated with school time loss. Results: 167 patients participated (mean age = 14.5 ± 2.2 years; 46% female). Patients were assessed initially at 5.0 ± 3.0 days post-injury and had a final follow-up assessment 24.5 ± 20.0 days post-concussion. Participants missed a median of 2 days of school (IQR = 0.5–4), and 21% reported their grades dropped after concussion. Higher initial symptom severity rating (β = 0.06, 95% CI = 0.03–0.08, p < 0.001) and perception of grades dropping after concussion (β = 1.37, 95% CI = 0.28–2.45, p = 0.01) were significantly associated with more days of school time missed after concussion. Those who reported their grades dropping reported missing significantly more school (mean = 5.0, SD = 4.7 days missed of school) than those who reported their grades did not drop (mean = 2.2, SD = 2.6 days missed of school; p < 0.001; Cohen’s d = 0.87). Conclusions: Children and adolescents reported missing a median of 2 days of school following concussion, and more missed school time after a concussion was associated with more severe concussion symptoms and perception of grades dropping. These findings may support recommendations for minimal delays in return-to-learn after concussion.



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