Abstract

Importance: Occupational performance limitations (OPLs) are poorly understood sequelae of concussion. This study aimed to establish the need for occupational therapy services for people who have sustained a concussion and to support the profession’s role in facilitating occupational performance for college students experiencing signs and symptoms after concussion.

Objective: To describe the types and frequency of, and assess risk factors for, OPLs in college students after concussion.

Design: Cross-sectional descriptive study.

Setting: Web-based survey on Qualtrics.

Participants: A total of 220 participants completed the survey; of those, 52 (23.6%) self-identified as having sustained a concussion and were further asked about OPLs after the concussion.

Results: Eighty-nine percent (n = 46) of the participants reported an OPL in at least one area, and higher OPL scores were associated with the number of concussion symptoms (r = .34, p = .02) and increased recovery time (≥3 days vs. <3 days, p = .006).

Conclusions and Relevance: College students reporting concussions with more symptoms that persisted for longer periods were more likely to experience occupational performance loss. Frequent OPLs were reported in occupations associated with the participants’ primary role of student. These results indicate a unique need for occupational therapy intervention with students to facilitate their continued success in academic pursuits.

What This Article Adds: People who have sustained a concussion experience OPLs. Occupational therapy has a role in facilitating a return to occupational performance during recovery, especially in helping college students with concussion return to the classroom.

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