Incidence of sports-related concussion in elite para athletes: a 52-week prospective study

Jan Lexell, Gustav Lovén, Kristina Fagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To assess the 52-week incidence proportion and incidence rate of sports-related concussion (SRC) among elite Para athletes, and to analyze the injury mechanisms.Method: In total, 70 male and 37 female Swedish elite Para athletes (median age 29 years) with vision, physical and intellectual impairment, weekly self-reported sports-related injuries including concussion in an eHealth application adapted to Para athletes. Descriptive statistics were used to assess the incidence rate and incidence proportion. Chi-square statistics were used to analyze differences in the proportion of SRC.Results: A total of 13 SRC were reported: three athletes each sustained two SRC. The incidence proportion was 9.3% (95% CI 4.8-16.7), and the incidence rate 0.5 SRC/1000 hours (95% CI 0.3-0.9) of sports exposure. Athletes with vision impairment and female athletes reported a significantly higher proportion of SRC. A majority of the injuries (n = 9; 69%) occurred during sport-specific training. The injury mechanisms were collision with object (n = 7; 54%), collision with person (n = 4; 31%), and poor playing field conditions (n = 2; 16%).Conclusion: The incidence of concussion among elite Paralympic athletes is comparable to sports for able-bodied athletes. Athletes with vision impairment and female athletes reported a significantly higher incidence of SRC, and collisions were the most common injury mechanism. These results can form the basis for future preventive research studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-977
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Injury
Volume35
Issue number8
Early online date2021 Jun 29
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Sport and Fitness Sciences
  • Neurology

Keywords

  • Athletic injuries
  • brain concussion
  • epidemiology
  • para-athletes
  • sports for persons with disabilities

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