Research Project Summary

Year Funded: 2012 Budget: $47,000 Funding Agency: Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta (WCB)
Title: A Prospective Evaluation of Sports & Recreation-Related Concussions Presenting to an Urban Emergency Department: Activities, Severity, Advice and Return-to-Play/Work among Adult Patients
Category: Compensation, Disability Management and Return to Work
Subcategory: Compensation, Disability Management and Return to Work
Keywords: Concussions, MBTI, return-to-work, outcome
Link to research website:


Awareness of concussions in many activities has increased dramatically
over the past decade. Many of the short-term (headache, nausea, dizziness, confusion, anxiety/depression) and long-term effects (depression, sleep difficulties, mild cognitive impairment, and chronic traumatic
encephalopathy) of concussions have been documented in professional and recreational athletes, labourers, and ordinary citizens, and this has raised concern about concussions in the general population. Most of the research produced in the past decade focuses on concussions in elite athletes, yet
the majority of mild head injuries/concussions occur in recreational athletes, drivers, workers, and others performing activities of daily living. The study we will perform will


Our research objective is to isolate variables that could potentially lead to early identification of individuals at increased risk of a complicated outcome. We will expand and improve upon previous research by focusing on a relatively homogenous group of injured workers with MTBI, and by controlling for confounding variables commonly overlooked with control group studies.

Anticipated Results:

Our results will help to provide a guideline for return-to-work/play for all concussions, identify inconsistencies with recommendations about concussions provided by physicians, information about signs and symptoms and how they affect members of the general population as well as possible prevention or therapeutic interventions that may be implemented. Furthermore, through this study we will be able to identify care gaps in the medical system where appropriate diagnosis, treatment and advice may reduce unnecessary repeat access to health care and earlier return to work. Through appropriate return-to-work guidelines we can avoid further injury, optimizing clinical outcomes and reduce unnecessary medical costs that may improve the efficiency and costs of WCB claims management.


Dr. Brian Rowe (University of Alberta)