Potential influences of compliance for short-term recovery from sports-related concussion

Erin R Ewing, University of Texas at El Paso


Currently, treatment of sports-related concussion dictates the prescription of physical and cognitive rest to allow the injured brain to recover and for concussion-related symptoms to subside. However, clinicians who prescribe rest are often met with resistance from athletes who do not recognize its therapeutic value in the recovery process. Research has shown that athletes often fail to comply with rest recommendations, resulting in protracted recovery and the persistence of symptoms. Method: This study employed a three-group pretest-posttest experimental design to compare the effects of three different concussion management protocols. Participants were recently concussed athletes ages 18-25 seen in the UTEP CMC. Purpose: This study sought to determine whether supplementary attempts to encourage collegiate athletes' compliance with rest recommendations following concussion would benefit their recovery. The researchers addressed the experimental question: Which of the following treatment protocols will best facilitate recovery from a sports-related concussion: (a) standard of care, (b) standard of care + a self-monitoring component, or (c) standard of care + a therapeutic alliance component? Results: Statistical tests revealed that Groups B and C demonstrated significantly faster recovery times than Group A, being returned to play sooner. Statistical analyses revealed no significant differences across groups in ImPACT scores from PC1 to PC2, but Groups B and C improved in more variables when qualitatively compared to ImPACT normative data. Participants in Groups B and C demonstrated varying levels of compliance with the rest protocol as measured by self-reports. Conclusion: These results suggest that participants who receive the standard of care combined with either a self-monitoring or therapeutic alliance component may demonstrate more significant gains in recovery.

Subject Area

Sports Management|Speech therapy|Health care management

Recommended Citation

Ewing, Erin R, "Potential influences of compliance for short-term recovery from sports-related concussion" (2014). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1559733.