The aim of this work is to study the nature and extent of the adverse academic effects faced by students recovering from concussion.
A sample of 349 students ages 5 to 18 who sustained a concussion and their parents reported academic concerns and problems (eg, symptoms interfering, diminished academic skills) on a structured school questionnaire within 4 weeks of injury. Postconcussion symptoms were measured as a marker of injury severity. Results were examined based on recovery status (recovered or actively symptomatic) and level of schooling (elementary, middle, and high school).
Actively symptomatic students and their parents reported higher levels of concern for the impact of concussion on school performance (P < .05) and more school-related problems (P < .001) than recovered peers and their parents. High school students who had not yet recovered reported significantly more adverse academic effects than their younger counterparts (P < .05). Greater severity of postconcussion symptoms was associated with more school-related problems and worse academic effects, regardless of time since injury (P < .001).
This study provides initial evidence for a concussion’s impact on academic learning and performance, with more adverse effects reported by students who had not yet recovered from the injury. School-based management with targeted recommendations informed by postinjury symptoms may mitigate adverse academic effects, reduce parent and student concerns for the impact of the injury on learning and scholastic performance, and lower the risk of prolonged recovery for students with active postconcussion symptoms.