AN INCREASE IN LOWER EXTREMITY INJURY AS A RESULT OF COGNITIVE AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DEFECITS OF CONCUSSION
Purpose: Sport-related concussions have shown to have effects on self-efficacy, oculomotor performance, reaction time and an increased risk of lower extremity injury. Most studies have been conducted to test the effects of acute concussions in athletes and not on long-term effects. Researchers have been able to test these effects using neuroimaging and physical testing to test the differences between concussed and non-concussed athletes. To understand the relationship between concussions and its effects on lower extremity risk it is important to be able to understand what is going on cognitively and psychologically in concussed athletes and to be able to detect what factors are remaining long-term. These factors could indicate the reason why lower extremity injuries are associated with sport-related concussions and how they can be treated or maintained to limit the incidence of lower extremity injury. Methods: Aim 1: Participants who were current athletes completed an online survey to measure their self-efficacy relative to their sport after they had been cleared to return-to-play following a concussive injury. This aim did not use a control group. Aim 2: Participants completed two surveys on their history of concussion and their history of lower extremity injury. All participants (concussed group and control group) then completed a virtual GO/NO-GO task that was presented in a Tobii HTC VIVE Pro Eye virtual reality eye tracking enabled headset that measured oculomotor performance. Participants were asked to wear a G-Tec (500 Hz) 32 channel EEG cap to measure reaction time while they perform the necessary tasks Results: Objective 1: Participants (N=9) were involved in collegiate, club, or recreational sports with at least one sport related concussion within a two-year period and had a mean age of 20.56 ± 1.74 years. Confidence about returning to play was reported in 11.9% of the participants. The mean scores for question #13 on the survey indicated that participants had low levels of self-efficacy when returning-to-play. Objective 2: Participants (N=25) included five concussed participants who are currently involved in basketball (20%), volleyball (20%), rugby (20%), soccer (20%), and marching band (20%). The control group consisted of twenty participants with a mean age of 21.24 ± 2.803 years consisting of 30% currently involved in rugby (50%), dance (16.67%), frisbee (16.67%), and softball (16.67%). There was not a statistically significant correlation between concussion and lower extremity injury. There was no statistically significant difference saccadic eye movement reaction time during the task. A comparison of channel spectra indicated statistically significant differences (p[less-than].05) in frequency bans across channels in the frontal and parietal regions of the brain as well as statistically significant (p[less-than].05) changes in ERD and ERS in frequency bands of the left frontal, right frontal, and parietal regions between the groups. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that cognitive and psychological effects due to concussion could produce an increased risk for lower extremity injury in athletes. While the correlation between report of concussion and report of lower extremity injury was not significant, it is clear the long-term effects of concussions are affecting athletes negatively and are causing differences in reaction time and self-efficacy. Since sports demand high levels of attention, confidence, and decision-making, concussed athletes that return-to-play too soon from a concussive injury may not have sufficient cognitive and psychological resources to operate appropriately during sport events, and thus may be at higher risk of further injury.
Schult, Caitlin. (July 2021). AN INCREASE IN LOWER EXTREMITY INJURY AS A RESULT OF COGNITIVE AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DEFECITS OF CONCUSSION (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9350.)
Schult, Caitlin. AN INCREASE IN LOWER EXTREMITY INJURY AS A RESULT OF COGNITIVE AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DEFECITS OF CONCUSSION. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, July 2021. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9350. September 24, 2023.
Schult, Caitlin, “AN INCREASE IN LOWER EXTREMITY INJURY AS A RESULT OF COGNITIVE AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DEFECITS OF CONCUSSION” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, July 2021).
Schult, Caitlin. AN INCREASE IN LOWER EXTREMITY INJURY AS A RESULT OF COGNITIVE AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DEFECITS OF CONCUSSION [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; July 2021.
East Carolina University