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Less Screen Time After Concussion Tied to Faster Recovery

Those abstaining from screen time had nearly five days shorter duration of symptoms

FRIDAY, Sept. 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Avoiding screen time during acute concussion recovery may shorten the duration of symptoms, according to a study published online Sept. 7 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Theodore Macnow, M.D., from the University of Massachusetts in Worcester, and colleagues assessed whether screen time in the first 48 hours after concussion has an effect on the duration of concussive symptoms. Analysis included 125 participants (aged 12 to 25 years) randomly assigned to either being permitted to engage in screen time (66 participants) or asked to abstain from screen time (59 participants). Symptoms were evaluated for 10 days.

The researchers observed a significant effect of screen time, with participants who engaged in screen time being less likely to recover during the study period (hazard ratio [HR], 0.51). The group who engaged in screen time had a significantly longer median recovery time (8.0 versus 3.5 days) than the abstinent group. Participants in the screen time group reported a median screen time of 630 minutes over the 48 hours after concussion versus 130 minutes in the abstinent group.

“This study provides preliminary evidence supporting clinical recommendations to limit screen time in the acute period after concussion,” the authors write.

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