Objective: Balance deficits are common after concussions in pediatric patients. This study evaluates 3 clinical tools for identifying postconcussion balance deficits in a pediatric population: (1) Post-Concussion Symptom Scale (PCSS); (2) Balance Error Scoring System (BESS); and (3) physical examination measures of balance: tandem gait (TG) and Romberg test. Setting: Data were collected in a tertiary care outpatient pediatric sports medicine clinic. Participants: English-speaking patients aged 8 to 17 years who presented to a tertiary care hospital-based pediatric sports medicine clinic and diagnosed with concussion between August 2014 and February 2018 were invited to participate. A total of 614 patients were screened and/or approached during the inclusion period and 500 were enrolled. Of those enrolled, 423 patients had complete data collected and analyzed. Design: This is a cross-sectional, observational data set from a longitudinal, prospective study. Main Measures: Data extracted from patients' electronic medical records included physical examination, PCSS, and BESS scores from their initial visit. Descriptive statistics were calculated for the outcome measures. A logistic regression was performed to evaluate significant contributors to abnormal BESS score (≥25). Results: There were 423 patients (56.7% female; 14.7 ± 2.01 years old) included in the study. Overall, we identified 336 patients (79.4%) with balance difficulties. Of the 336 with balance difficulties, 284 (84.5%) reported "balance problems" and/or "dizziness" on PCSS, 153 (45.5%) had abnormal BESS scores (≥25), and 100 (29.8%) had an abnormality on either TG or Romberg test. Conclusion: Balance difficulties were identified in close to 80% of children with concussions. Using PCSS and BESS along with physical examination measures, TG and Romberg test, identified more patients with balance deficits than using TG and Romberg test alone.
- Balance Error Scoring System
- Post-Concussion Symptom Scale
- tandem gait
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Clinical Neurology