Concussion Information for Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare Professional and Patient Image The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is building a broad portfolio of research to advance the field’s understanding of child and youth concussion and to fill in gaps in knowledge that hinder development of better prevention and treatment strategies. Specifically, we focus on rigorously describing concussion across the pediatric age range and clinical settings, providing data and methods to develop engineering and behavioral prevention strategies, improving diagnostic tools and how we manage recovery. With this information the field can advance targeted interventions to prevent concussion and optimize treatment to accelerate recovery.

Learn more about CHOP's concussion research program »

Concussion resources

Our team has developed a variety of educational resources to support our goals of improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment of concussion in kids. Share these resources to help educate patient families, coaches, schools and fellow practitioners.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provides concussion resources and training tools for healthcare providers. Visit the CDC's HEADS UP to Healthcare Providers for additional resources.

Exam demonstration video

In this video, Christina Master, MD, demonstrates how to perform a concussion evaluation in a child or teen, including a physical exam, taking a history and gathering information about the incident. Watch the video »

Continuing medical education

Each spring, our pediatric concussion experts extend their clinical and research experience by hosting a concussion symposium at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The event focuses on improving pediatric concussion management through symptom identification on the playing field, as well as diagnosis, treatment and recovery in school settings. Continuing education credits are available for a number of professions. 

Recent research and publications

Physicians and researchers from the Concussion Care for Kids: Minds Matter program at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia are regular contributors to clinical publications. Here, we highlight some recent and notable publications.

2018

Haarbauer-Krupa J, Arbogast KB, Metzger KB, Greenspan AI, Kessler R, Curry AE, Bell JM, DePadilla L, Pfeiffer MR, Zonfrillo MR, Master CL. Variations in Mechanisms of Injury for Children with Concussion. J Pediatr. 2018 Jun;197:241-248.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.01.075. Epub 2018 Apr 4.

2017

  • Myers RK, Eagan-Brown BL, Conway AT, Nagele DA, Vaccaro MJ, Kendi S, Zonfrillo MR. Examining a Statewide Educational Consulting Program for Pediatric Brain Injury. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2018 Jun;57(6):645-655. doi: 10.1177/0009922817732146. Epub 2017 Sep 21.
  • Deshpande SK, Hasegawa RB, Rabinowitz AR, Whyte J, Roan CL, Tabatabaei A, Baiocchi M, Karlawish JH, Master CL, Small DS. Association of Playing High School Football With Cognition and Mental Health Later in Life. JAMA Neurol. 2017 Aug 1;74(8):909-918. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.1317.
  • Arbogast KB, Curry AE, Metzger KB, Kessler RS, Bell JM, Haarbauer-Krupa J, Zonfrillo MR, Breiding MJ, Master CL. Improving Primary Care Provider Practices in Youth Concussion Management. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2017 Aug;56(9):854-865. doi: 10.1177/0009922817709555. Epub 2017 May 19. Read the abstract.

2016

  • Wiebe DJ, Nance ML, Houseknecht E, Grady MF, Otto N, Sandsmark DK, Master CL. Ecologic Momentary Assessment to Accomplish Real-Time Capture of Symptom Progression and the Physical and Cognitive Activities of Patients Daily Following Concussion. JAMA Pediatr. 2016 Nov 1;170(11):1108-1110. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.1979. Read the article.
  • Arbogast KA, Curry AE, Pfeiffer MR, Zonfrillo MR, Haarbauer-Krupa J, Breiding MJ, Coronado VG, Master CL. Point of Health Care Entry for Youth With Concussion Within a Large Pediatric Care Network. JAMA Pediatr. Published online May 31, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0294. Read the article.

2015

  • Master CL, Scheiman M, Gallaway M, Goodman A, Robinson RL, Master SR, Grady MF. Vision Diagnoses Are Common After Concussion in Adolescents. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2015 July. DOI: 10.1177/0009922815594367. Read article.
  • Corwin DJ, Wiebe DJ, Zonfrillo MR, Grady MF, Robinson RL, Goodman AM, Master CL. Vestibular Deficits following Youth Concussion. J Pediatr. 2015 May;166(5):1221-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.01.039. Epub 2015 Mar 5. Read the article.
  • Vernau BT, Grady MF, Goodman A, Wiebe DJ, Basta L, Park Y, Arbogast KB, Master CL. Oculomotor and neurocognitive assessment of youth ice hockey players: baseline associations and observations after concussion. Dev Neuropsychol. 2015 Jan;40(1):7-11. doi: 10.1080/87565641.2014.971955. Read the abstract.

2014

  • Baker JG, Rieger BP, McAvoy K, Leddy JJ, Master CL, Lana SJ, Willer BS. Principles for return to learn after concussion Int J Clin Pract. 2014 Nov;68(11):1286-8. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.12517. No abstract available. PMID: 25348379. Read the article »
  • Corwin DJ, Zonfrillo MR, Master CL, Arbogast KB, Grady MF, Robinson RL, Goodman AM, Wiebe DJ. Characteristics of prolonged concussion recovery in a pediatric subspecialty referral population. J Pediatr. 2014 Dec;165(6):1207-15. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.08.034. Epub 2014 Sep 26. PMID: 25262302. Read the article.
  • Leong DF, Master CL, Messner LV, Pang Y, Smith C, Starling AJ. The Effect of Saccadic Training on Early Reading Fluency. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2014 May 1;53(9):858-864. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24790022. Read the article.
  • Master CL, Balcer L, Collins M. Concussion. Ann Intern Med. 2014 Feb 4;160(3):ITC2-1. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-160-3-201402040-01002. Review. No abstract available. PMID: 24658701. Read the article.
  • Leong DF, Balcer LJ, Galetta SL, Liu Z, Master CL. The King-Devick test as a concussion screening tool administered by sports parents. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2014 Feb;54(1):70-7. PMID: 24445547. Read the article.

2013

  • Galetta MS, Galetta KM, McCrossin J, Wilson JA, Moster S, Galetta SL, Balcer LJ, Dorshimer GW, Master CL. Saccades and memory: baseline associations of the King-Devick and SCAT2 SAC tests in professional ice hockey players. J Neurol Sci. 2013 May 15;328(1-2):28-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2013.02.008. Epub 2013 Mar 15. PMID: 23499425. Read the article.
  • Arbogast KB, McGinley AD, Master CL, Grady MF, Robinson RL, Zonfrillo MR. Cognitive rest and school-based recommendations following pediatric concussion: the need for primary care support tools. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2013 May;52(5):397-402. doi: 10.1177/0009922813478160. Epub 2013 Feb 27. PMID: 23447397. Read the article.

2012

  • Darby DG, Master CL, Grady MF. Computerized Neurocognitive Testing in the Medical Evaluation of Sports Concussion. Pediatric Annals, September 2012 (41, 9: 371, 374-376), DOI: 10.3928/00904481-20120827-11. Read the article.
  • Grady MF, Master CL, Gioia GA. Concussion Pathophysiology: Rationale for Physical and Cognitive Rest. Pediatric Annals, September 2012 (41, 9: 377-378, 380-382). DOI: 10.3928/00904481-20120827-12. Read the article.
  • Master CL, Gioia GA, Leddy JJ, Grady MF. Importance of ‘Return-to-Learn’ in Pediatric and Adolescent Concussion . Pediatric Annals, September  2012 (41, 9: 1-6). DOI: 10.3928/00904481-20120827-09. Read the abstract.
  • Master CL, Grady MF. Office-Based Management of Pediatric and Adolescent Concussion. Pediatric Annals, September 2012 - Volume 41 • Issue 9: 1-6. DOI: 10.3928/00904481-20120827-08.  Read the abstract.
  • Vidal PG, Goodman AM, Colin A, Leddy JJ, Grady MF. Rehabilitation Strategies for Prolonged Recovery in Pediatric and Adolescent Concussion. Pediatric Annals, September 2012 (41, 9: 1-7).  DOI: 10.3928/00904481-20120827-10. Read the abstract.
  • Zonfrillo MR, Master CL, Grady MF, Winston FK, Callahan JM, Arbogast KB. Pediatric providers' self-reported knowledge, practices, and attitudes about concussion. Pediatrics. 2012 Dec;130(6):1120-5Epub 2012 Nov 12. Read the abstract.

Institute of Medicine report on sports-related youth concussion

On October 30, 2013, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report, Sports-Related Concussions in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture, which reviews the state of the science on sports-related concussion in children and youth ages 5 to 21. CHOP’s Kristy Arbogast, PhD, an expert in pediatric biomechanics and part of the Minds Matter team, was a member of the 17-person expert committee that reviewed the science and created the evidence-based recommendations to improve concussion prevention, diagnosis and management.

Concussion management scientific review

In the September 2012 issue of Annals of Pediatric Medicine, CHOP concussion experts edited a review of the state of the science of the pathophysiology of concussion, the rationale for early cognitive rest immediately after a concussion and described a practical medical home model for managing concussion. By reading this special issue on concussion — one guest editorial, three articles for CME credit and two feature articles — professionals will gain a comprehensive and contemporary perspective on pediatric and adolescent concussion.

In the guest editorial, Matt Grady, MD, and Christina Master, MD, introduced a paradigm shift in how we provide care for the student athlete. Previous approaches have been based on international guidelines for return-to-play for adult athletes. Grady and Master suggested a focus on the return-to-learn before pivoting to return-to-play.