Gender Differences in Quality of Life and Symptom Expression During Recovery from Concussion

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Pediatric concussion is a significant health concern for parents, medical providers, and schools. This study was designed to gain insight into gender differences in perspectives of children and adolescents recovering from concussion. Specifically, the study explored whether males and females reported different symptom loads for physical symptoms and quality of life after concussion. The Pediatric Life After Concussion Evaluation Scale (PLACES) and the Post Concussion Symptom Scale (PCSS) were completed by 277 participants ages 9-21, with a mean age of 14.8 years. The sample was 47.5% female and 52.5% male. The study showed that overall, females reported more physical and somatic symptoms (Total PCSS, p = .001), worse quality of life during recovery (PLACES, p = .008), difficulty with cognition (p = .001), and elevated emotional symptoms than males (p = .02). When an interaction between gender and time since injury was considered, there were significant interactions for the PCSS, with females experiencing higher physical and cognitive symptom load during the period spanning 1-12 weeks (1-4 weeks: M = 33.18, SD = 27.03; 5-11 weeks: M = 15.0, SD = 16.76). However, for those individuals experiencing symptoms for longer than 12 weeks, males expressed a higher physical and cognitive symptom load (M = 32.36, SD = 26.59). Findings indicate that there are gender differences in the expression of symptoms and perceptions of quality of life after concussion.

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Applied Neuropsychology: Child

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This article was published in Applied Neuropsychology: Child.

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