The incidence of pediatric and adolescent concussion in action sports: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Francesco Feletti, Matteo Bonato

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: This was a systematic review and meta-analysis of the incidence of concussion risk in youth athletes involved in action sports (AS). Methods: A search of PubMed and Web of Science (from January 1980 to August 2020). Titles, abstracts, and full text were screened according to predefined inclusion criteria to find relevant studies. Moreover, the methodological quality of the studies selected was assessed. Results: Nineteen of 1.619 studies were included in the systematic review and 14 in the meta-analysis. Motocross, sailing and snowboarding presented the highest incidence rates per 1000 athlete exposure at 39.22, 3.73 and 2.77 respectively, whereas alpine skiing had the lowest incidence rates resulting in 0.30. Overall risk of concussion was estimated at 0.33 (CI: 0.22, 0.45). Regarding the methodological quality, we have to report that 26.3% of the studies reported the definition of concussion while 36.8% presented age and gender-specific incidence rates. The mechanism of injury and follow up were reported only in one study. Conclusions: There are significant differences in the rates of incident youth concussion across AS. Despite some limitations, the data from this research can serve as the current sport-specific baseline risk of concussion among youth athletes who practice action sports.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8728
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2020


  • Action sports
  • Concussion
  • Diagnosis
  • Injury
  • Orthopedics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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