The BRAIN-Q, a tool for assessing self-reported sport-related concussions for epidemiological studies

Laura James, Madeline Davies, Saba Mian, Giulia Seghezzo, Elizabeth Williamson, Simon P T Kemp, Damien McElvenny, Nigel K. Arden, Neil Pearce, Valentina Gallo

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    Abstract

    Objectives - The BRAIN-Q is a tool aimed at maximising the accuracy, and minimising measurement error, for retrospectively assessing concussions. This paper reports agreement of the BRAIN-Q tool when compared to extant questionnaire questions, and reproducibility when compared with its telephonic version (tBRAIN-Q).
    Methods - The BRAIN-Q entails a 3-stage process: defining concussion, creating a visual timeline with life events, and establishing detailed characteristics for each reported concussion. It was designed to be administered in-person by trained personnel, and was used in the BRAIN Study. Its performance was compared with the MSK Study which previously collected a few questions in a broader self-administered questionnaire; and with the tBRAIN-Q Recall, its telephonic version.
    Results - 101 participants were included; of these, nine were re-assessed with the tBRAIN-Q. Compared to the BRAIN-Q, the agreement with the MSK-Q for rugby-related concussion was 86.7% (kappa 0.6). Rugby-related concussion with loss of consciousness showed lower agreement (82.0% (kappa 0.6)). The comparison between the BRAIN-Q and the tBRAIN-Q showed a good reproducibility.
    Conclusions - The BRAIN-Q is a relatively easy tool to administer in face-to-face assessments, it showed an optimal reproducibility, it includes a well-established definition of concussion, and is used to collect detailed information on each concussion allowing for a number of subgroup analyses (e.g. by severity, by age, by context). The BRAIN-Q is easily adaptable to other sporting settings
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEpidemiology & Health
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19-Oct-2021

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