NeuroRehabilitation. 2023 Aug 18. doi: 10.3233/NRE-220221. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Affective symptoms, specifically, anxiety, are often overlooked after sport-related concussion (SRC), and may contribute to prolonged recovery.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the impact of anxiety during clinical recovery among adolescents (13-18y) enrolled in a randomized trial of aerobic exercise for SRC.
METHODS: Patients at three sites were randomized into aerobic exercise or stretching arms, and enrolled in the 4-week intervention. The relationship between PROMIS Anxiety score at initial visit and time to symptom resolution was evaluated with survival analysis. The relationship between weekly PROMIS Anxiety score and Post-concussion Symptom Inventory (PCSI) score was evaluated with Linear Mixed Models. Analyses adjusted for study arm and baseline covariates.
RESULTS: Among 54 adolescents (median age = 15.8y, initial visit PCSI score = 32, pre-injury PROMIS Anxiety score = 2), median time to symptom resolution was 10 days (IQR 6, 24) in the Low-PROMIS Anxiety group and 12 days (IQR 5, 21) in the High-PROMIS Anxiety group (p = 0.62). Each additional unit of PROMIS Anxiety score corresponded to a 1.52-unit higher PCSI total score (p < 0.01). Neither effect varied by aerobic exercise/stretching.
CONCLUSION: Higher initial PROMIS Anxiety score was not significantly associated with delayed symptom resolution. However, over time, PROMIS Anxiety score was significantly associated with elevated PCSI score, regardless of exercise/stretching group.