Concussion is common in the sporting arena and is often challenging to diagnose. The development of wearable head impact measurement systems has enabled measurement of head kinematics in contact sports.
The objective of this systematic review was to determine the characteristics of head kinematics measured by an accelerometer system among male athletes diagnosed with concussion.
A systematic search was conducted in July 2015. Inclusion criteria were English-language studies published after 1990 with a study population of male athletes, in any sport, where objectively measured biomechanical forces were reported in the setting of a concussive event. The random effects meta-analysis model was used to combine estimates of biomechanical force measurements in concussed athletes.
Thirteen studies met the inclusion criteria, the majority of which were conducted with high school and college football teams in the US. Included studies measured a combination of linear and rotational acceleration. The meta-analysed mean peak linear head acceleration associated with a concussive episode was 98.68 g (95 % CI 82.36-115.00) and mean peak rotational head acceleration was 5776.60 rads/s2 (95 % CI 4583.53-6969.67). The estimates of the biomechanical forces were consistent across studies, with I 2 values of 0 % for both meta-analyses.
Head impact monitoring through accelerometery has been shown to be useful with regard to characterising the kinematic load to the head associated with concussion. Future research with improved clinical outcome measures and head kinematic data may improve accuracy when evaluating concussion, and may assist with both interpretation of biomechanical data and the development and utilisation of implementation strategies for the technology.
Sports Med. 2016 Jul 11. [Epub ahead of print] Accelerometers for the Assessment of Concussion in Male Athletes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Brennan JH1,2, Mitra B3,4,5, Synnot A3,6,7, McKenzie J8, Willmott C9,10, McIntosh AS11,12, Maller JJ13, Rosenfeld JV14,15,16.
Author information: 1National Trauma Research Institute, Commercial Rd, Melbourne, VIC, 3004, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org. 2Emergency and Trauma Centre, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. email@example.com. 3National Trauma Research Institute, Commercial Rd, Melbourne, VIC, 3004, Australia. 4Emergency and Trauma Centre, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. 5Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. 6Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre (ANZIC-RC), Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. 7Cochrane Consumers and Communication Review Group, Centre for Health Communication and Participation, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. 8School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. 9Monash-Epworth Rehabilitation Research Centre, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. 10School of Psychological Sciences and Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. 11Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention, Federation University, Ballarat, VIC, Australia. 12Monash Injury Research Institute, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. 13Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. 14Department of Neurosurgery, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. 15Department of Surgery, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. 16Department of Surgery, F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of The Health Sciences (USUHS), Bethesda, MD, USA.