16 October 2017

Concussion Study in Children and Adolescents at the University of Western Australia

Much of the recent attention on concussion has been focused on the diagnosis and management in college athletes and adults, particularly in the US. In comparison, very little consideration has been given to concussion in children and adolescents, and there is a lack of understanding about the assessment, prognosis, and treatment of concussion in this cohort.

In adults, most cases of concussion are seen to resolve in 7-10 days, however it has been suggested that children who suffer a concussion have poorer outcomes, and a prolonged recovery. Most children recover completely within three months, but there is a significant minority of about 10-30%, depending on the study, that show a delayed recovery and ongoing deficits.

My project is focussing on the impact of concussion in school aged children between the ages of 6-16. We are aiming to develop a comprehensive picture of the impact of concussion in this age group and shed more light on what kinds of symptoms are most common in children, and how it impacts their thinking skills such as their memory, learning, attention, and processing speed. We will also be exploring how concussion differs in males and females, and in younger children compared to adolescents. Lastly, the study also aims to further our understanding about what factors have an influence on recovery.

To assist with our understanding of the impact of concussion in this age group, the children who have had a concussion will be compared to a group of children who have never had a concussion. During the July school holidays we are inviting children between the ages of 6-16 who have never had a concussion to participate in the study. To be eligible to participate, children must not have any learning difficulties at school, or any diagnoses of disorders such as ADHD, dyslexia, or autism.

Participants will be required to attend two assessments, three months apart, which take place at the School of Psychology at the University of Western Australia. After the three month assessment parents will receive a summary report detailing their child's strengths and weaknesses in terms of their thinking skills, and if there are any areas of difficulty, strategies and recommendations will be provided to help assist.

If you are interested in finding out more about the study, or you wish to see if your child is eligible to participate, please contact:

Mr Alex Springall
Provisional Psychologist | MPsych/PhD Candidate (Clinical Neuropsychology)
School of Psychology
Tel: 0422 052 117
Email: alex.springall@research.uwa.edu.au