DOI: 10.4085/1062-6050-0587.23 ISSN: 1938-162X

The Adolescent Patient Perspective on Activity Limitations Following Sport-Related Concussion

Tamara C. Valovich McLeod, Richelle M. Williams, Alison R. Snyder Valier
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • General Medicine



Assessment of sport-related concussion (SRC) has begun to include patient- reported outcome measures (PROMs). However, there is a limited understanding of which health limitations are most meaningful to adolescents following SRC.


To explore patient-perceived activity limitations following SRC and throughout recovery to return-to-play (RTP) and mapped according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) model.




Secondary school athletic training facilities.

Patients or Other Participants

Fifty patients (41 males, 5 females, 4 sex not reported, age=14.9±3.5 years, grade=10.2±0.93 level) with a medically diagnosed SRC.


The Patient Specific Functional Scale (PSFS) was used to assess changes in the patient's condition and the impact the injury posed on their ability to perform activities. The PSFS is a self-reported assessment of health used to identify activity limitations and rate the difficulty of performing those tasks. The PSFS was administered to patients on days 3 (D3) and 10 (D10) following SRC and at RTP.

Main Outcome Measures

Activities impacted by injury were coded into common categories and themes by a three-person research team for subsequent analysis. The coded themes were also mapped to the ICF domains, chapters, and categories. The dependent variables were the PSFS themes, number of activities endorsed, PSFS scores, ICF domains, chapters, and categories. Descriptive analyses and frequencies were reported for the dependent variables.


A total of 157 different activities were identified at D3 and coded into 28 categories that fit into six themes: activities of daily living (ADLs), cognitive and school (COG), sports and physical activity (SPA), screen time (SCR), sleep (SLP) and social (SOC). On D3, all patients (50/50) identified at least one activity limitation. The majority related to SPA (37.6%) and COG (31.2%). Sixty percent of patients endorsed activity limitations at D10, primarily in COG (38.6%) and SPA (36.6%). All (100%) response categories were mapped to the ICF, with most (75%) fitting the activities and participation (AP) domain.


Our primary findings suggest that sport-related concussion influences many facets of the lives of adolescent athletes. Specifically, adolescent athletes identified activity restrictions primarily related to physical activity and sports participation.

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