Category: Brain Injury; Clinical Practice (assessment, diagnosis, treatment, knowledge translation/EBP, implementation science, program development); Cross-Cutting
Objective : To examinine the experiences of collegiate athletes who had sustained concussions and experienced post-concussion syndrome (PCS), detailing their recovery process and reintegration into their educational and athletic activities.
Design : Descriptive case studies
Setting : University Speech and Language Clinic
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) : Two women collegiate athletes between the ages of 20-22. Participants who sustained a concussion and experienced post-concussion syndrome were recruited from a population-based sample and invited to participate in additional interviews for the case studies.
Interventions : Interventions: Not applicable
Main Outcome Measure(s) :
Concussion recovery is a unique experience for each individual. The purpose of this study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the experiences of collegiate athletes who sustained concussion with subsequent post-concussion syndrome, including the recovery process, how learning, sports, and daily activities were affected, and their perspective on the how the concussion and PCS affected their learning and return to play.
Results : Student-athletes experienced disruptions to their academic studies and participation in sporting activities because of their concussions, as well as social difficulties and feelings of isolation. Despite the attempted utilization of best-practice protocols, there was a breakdown in the return-to-learn and return-to-play processes for the athletes.
Conclusions : This investigation highlighted the experiences of two women collegiate athletes who sustained concussions with subsequent post-concussion syndrome. They provided a unique perspective into the personal experiences of recovery from concussion. These cases also support the importance of having an interdisciplinary team to help collegiate athletes who sustain concussions to ensure that they can achieve optimal recovery and return to learning and sports.
Miriam Carroll-Alfano– Assistant Professor, Saint Xavier University, Crestwood, Illinois
Roberta DePompei– Dean Emerita, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio
Nickola Nelson– Professor Emerita, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Linda Shuster– Professor, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan