Sport Related Concussion Correlates with Lower Post-Concussion Psychiatric Outcomes and Overall Symptom Burden: A Retrospective Chart Review

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Presenting Author(s): Cormac Southam

Co-Author(s): Dr. Chantel Debert, Eric Paxman, Dr. Ryan Todd

Date and time: 24 Mar 2018 from 14:50 to 15:10

Location: Hawthorn B  Floor Map

Presenting Author: Cormac Southam

Co-Author(s) Names: Eric Paxman BSc., MSc, Ryan Todd MD, Chantel Debert MD, MSc FRCPC


Learning Objectives:

  1. Know that post-concussion syndrome is associated with significant psychiatric symptom burden
  2. Understand that patients with SRC have a lower psychiatric symptom burden than patients with concussion from other contexts
  3. Name three characteristics of past medical history that predict severity of psychiatric outcomes in patients with SRC

Literature Reference:

Finkbeiner, N. W., Max, J. E., Longman, S., & Debert, C. (2016). Knowing what we don’t know: long-term psychiatric outcomes following adult concussion in sports. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 61(5), 270-276.

King, N. S., Crawford, S., Wenden, F. J., Moss, N. E. G., & Wade, D. T. (1995). The Rivermead Post Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire: a measure of symptoms commonly experienced after head injury and its reliability. Journal of neurology, 242(9), 587-592.


Individuals that sustain a concussion are at risk of developing post-concussion syndrome and psychiatric symptomatology. However, the relationship between the context the concussion occurred in and the severity of PCS has not been well explored. Our objective is to determine whether individuals sustaining a sport related concussion (SRC) have a different psychiatric burden than those that sustain concussions in other contexts.

We examined 336 patients with concussion and persistent symptoms presenting to the Calgary Brain Injury Program (CBIP) from 2015-2017. Markers examined included patient characteristics, injury characteristics, the Rivermead post concussion symptoms questionnaire (RPQ), and the Patient Health Questionnaire – 9 (PHQ-9). This data was collected during an initial visit with a head injury specialist at the CBIP. Data was analyzed by two tailed pairwise t-tests and Spearman rank order correlations.

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