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Epidemiology and Health 2021;e2021086.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2021086    [Accepted] Published online Oct 19, 2021.
The BRAIN-Q, a tool for assessing self-reported sport-related concussions for epidemiological studies
Laura James1  , Madeline AM Davies2  , Saba Mian3  , Giulia Seghezzo1  , Elizabeth Williamson4, Simon Kemp5  , Nigel K Arden6  , Damien McElvenny7  , Neil Pearce3, Valentina Gallo8
1Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom
2University of Bath , Bath, United Kingdom
3London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine , London, United Kingdom
4London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine , London, United Kingdom
5Rugby Football Association, London, United Kingdom
6University of Oxford, Oxfordu, United Kingdom
7Institute of Occupational Medicine , Edinburgh , United Kingdom
8University of Groningen , Leeuwarden, Netherlands
Correspondence  Valentina Gallo ,Tel: +31(0)633023305, Email: v.gallo@rug.nl
Received: Jan 13, 2021  Accepted after revision: Oct 19, 2021
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).
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.
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.
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
Keywords: Questionnaire; Evaluation; Sport-related concussion; Self-reported exposure
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