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NeuroRehabilitation. 2017;40(4):493-499. doi: 10.3233/NRE-161436.

Pilot study of the Sub-Symptom Threshold Exercise Program (SSTEP) for persistent concussion symptoms in youth.

Author information

1
Seattle Children's Research Institute, Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle, WA, USA.
2
Adolescent Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
3
Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center Seattle, WA, USA.
4
Department of Physical Therapy Seattle, Seattle Children's Hospital, WA, USA.
5
Department of Pediatrics, Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA, USA.
6
University of Washington, Sports, Spine and Orthopedic Health, Seattle, WA, USA.
7
Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Prior studies suggest potential benefit using monitored aerobic exercise to treat youth with persistent concussion symptoms, but these studies have been small.

OBJECTIVES:

To explore the safety and potential benefits of a rehabilitative exercise intervention, the Sub-symptom Threshold Exercise Program (SSTEP), for treating youth with persistent concussion symptoms >1 month.

METHODS:

We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 83 youth who participated in SSTEP, completing trajectory analysis of concussion symptoms using the symptom subscale of the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool, version 2 (SCAT-2).

RESULTS:

The average age of patients was 14.9+/-2.3 years and 54% were female. Most concussions (76%) were due to sports, the majority from football and girls' soccer, and 55% had a previous concussion. Comorbidity was not uncommon: 14% had history of ADHD and 16% history of depression and/or anxiety. Most patients improved following the intervention, and none reported worsening. Symptoms decreased exponentially following initiation of SSTEP, and trajectory did not differ by duration of symptoms at presentation (<6 weeks, 6-12 weeks, >12 weeks).

CONCLUSIONS:

Monitored exercise programs appear to be safe and potentially beneficial for youth with persistent concussive symptoms. Large-scale controlled studies are needed to examine efficacy, ideal timing and duration.

KEYWORDS:

Brain concussion; adolescent; child; exercise; prolonged concussion syndrome; sport; traumatic brain injury; treatment

PMID:
28222566
DOI:
10.3233/NRE-161436
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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