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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Trevor Roiger


concussion, quality of life, adolescent


CONTEXT: Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries can negatively influence healthrelated quality of life (HRQOL) in adolescent patients for significant periods of time. The impact of sport-related concussion on adolescent HRQOL remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: To investigate adolescent student-athletes’ and their parents’ perceptions of the child’s health-related quality of life, one year post- sport-related concussion.
DESIGN: Interpretive, qualitative study.
SETTING: Secondary school.
PATIENTS or OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Seven adolescent student-athletes, aged 12-17 years (2 male, 5 female), who sustained a sport-related concussion at least one year prior (15.3 + 2.8 months), along with one of their parents (n=7; 2 fathers and 5 mothers) participated in this study. DATA COLLECTION and ANALYSIS: Fourteen semi-structured interviews (7 adolescents and 7 parents) were completed. Interviews were transcribed and inductively analyzed by a team of 3 athletic trainers with 32 combined years of professional experience. Themes were negotiated through a consensual review process. Participant checks were completed to ensure trustworthiness of the results.
RESULTS: Four major themes emerged from the data collected: (1) significant impact of symptomology (2) feelings of frustration (3) lack of academic accommodation and (4) the nature of interpersonal relationships.
CONCLUSIONS: Physical and emotional function, academics, and interpersonal interactions can be negatively influenced by sport-related concussion as perceived by adolescent student-athletes and their parents. Education of parents and their children, along with school professionals, coaches, and teammates, remains a central component in the effective recognition and management of sport-related concussion. Secondary school districts may play a critical role in the concussion management process by establishing and implementing accommodation policies that alleviate student concerns relative to falling behind while ensuring a safe and timely return to normal school routines. Further, adolescent support systems must be considered throughout the recovery process.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Brain -- Concussion
Teenage athletes
Quality of life -- Health aspects


Includes bibliographical references (pages 43-55)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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