Data on the early- to mid-life effects of repetitive neurotrauma on patient reported outcomes have been delimited to homogeneous samples of male athletes with failure to utilize comparison groups or account for modifying factors such as physical activity.
To determine the effect of contact/collision sport participation on patient reported outcomes among early-middle aged adults.
One-hundred and thirteen adults (mean age: 34.9 + 11.8 years, 47.0%% male) across four groups: : (a) non-repetitive head impact (RHI) exposed, physically inactive individuals (NON), (b) non-RHI exposed/non-contact athletes (NCA) who are currently active, (c) former high risk sports athletes (HRS) with RHI history and physically active, or (d) former rugby (RUG) players with prolonged RHI exposure that remain physically active.
Short-Form 12 (SF-12), Apathy Evaluation Scale-Self Rated (AES-S), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), and the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool – 5th Edition (SCAT 5) Symptom and Symptom Severity Checklist.
The NON group has significantly worse self-rated physical function than NCA assessed by the SF-12 (PCS) and worse self-rated apathy (AES-S) and satisfaction with life (SWLS) compared to the NCA and HRS groups. There were no group differences for self-rated mental health (SF-12 (MCS)) or symptoms (SCAT5). Career duration was not significantly associated with any patient reported outcomes.
Neither history of contact/collision sport participation nor career duration negatively affected patient reported outcomes in physically active individuals in early-middle aged adults. Yet, physical inactivity status was negatively associated with patient reported outcomes in early-middle aged adults in the absence of RHI history.