Self-Reported Lifetime Concussion Among Adults: Comparison of 3 Different Survey Questions
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Self-Reported Lifetime Concussion Among Adults: Comparison of 3 Different Survey Questions

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  • Alternative Title:
    J Head Trauma Rehabil
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    Because of limitations in current national data sets, respondent self-report may be critical to obtaining concussion prevalence estimates. We examined whether self-report of lifetime concussion among adults varies with the provision of a concussion definition and by the content of that definition

    Setting and Participants

    A convenience sample of 6427 American adults who participated in the 2018 Porter Novelli SpringStyles survey



    Main Measures

    Frequency of self-reported concussion by variation in concussion definition.


    A quarter of respondents (28.9%) reported experiencing a concussion in their lifetime. While concussion prevalence varied by demographic characteristics, it did not vary significantly by concussion definition. Variation in concussion definition did not result in differences related to recency of last concussion, mechanism of injury, or respondent activity engaged in during which they sustained their most recent concussion


    The current study suggested that in this sample of adults, the percentage reporting a concussion did not significantly vary by whether a concussion definition was provided or by the content of the definition. However, research suggests that prompting about mechanism of injury, listing symptoms individually, and considering only athletic populations may affect estimates and these factors should be included in future question comparisons

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