Description: Recent studies in other Provinces in Canada show a dramatic increase in the number of children diagnosed with concussion, but this phenomenon has not been well documented in Alberta. Also, the factors that predict the incidence of pediatric concussion in Alberta have not been examined in detail, nor has the association between pediatric concussion and healthcare utilization and cost (e.g., imaging utilization, physician billings).

We have three primary objectives: a) To investigate the trends in physician office and emergency department (ED) visit rates for pediatric concussions in Alberta over the past decade, b) To examine the predictors of concussion incidence (e.g., use geographic analysis to determine how concussion in Alberta varies as a function of urban or rural locality based on population density); c) To examine physician billing as an index of health utilization costs, and d) To determine rate of diagnostic imaging use in patients with diagnosis. 

This is a retrospective, population-based study linking de-identified health administrative data (including use of diagnostic imaging) from concussion-related visits to ED and physician offices in children ages 0 through 18 in Alberta from 2004 to 2018 to cover fiscal years 2005-2017 with the hope of examining the predictors of concussion incidence over time and changes in physician billing and imaging utilization over time.

Project years: 2017-2019

Funding: $25,000/year


Investigators: Keith YeatesJennifer Zwicker, David Johnston

Students: Krystle Wittevrongel

Statistical analyst: Olesya Barrett, Allan Ryan

Staff: Heather Godfrey