Introduction: Previous studies on traumatic brain injury trends in Canada have been restricted to hospitalization and emergency department visit data. However, many concussion patients may present first, or only, to family physicians. Therefore, the true burden of concussion in Canada is likely underestimated. The Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN) collects information electronically from family physicians across Canada and can potentially be used for concussion surveillance. The objective of this study is to explore the feasibility of using data collated from CPCSSN for concussion surveillance purposes and examine trends over time. Methods: Electronic medical records housed by CPCSSN from 2010 to 2016 were analyzed. Case ascertainment was determined through a combination of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes. Binomial regression models were used to calculate the prevalence ratio (PR) of concussion by age, sex, deprivation indices, body mass index, and comorbid conditions. Results: Concussion prevalence rates increased from 2010 to 2016 (p < 0.001). Based on 2016 data, males had a higher prevalence of concussion compared with females (PR = 1.09; 95% CI 1.02, 1.18), and those aged 10–14 (PR = 8.52; 95% confidence interval [CI] 6.34, 11.44) and 15–19 (PR = 7.75; 95% CI 5.84, 10.28) had higher prevalence of concussion compared with those aged 0–4 years. Conclusion: This pilot study demonstrates the feasibility of using the CPCSSN system for surveillance of concussion in the Canadian population. The initial findings on prevalence are in agreement with previous studies that have used hospitalization or emergency department data.

Concussion, Electronic medical records, ICD coding classification, Injury, Mild traumatic brain injury, Surveillance
Canadian Journal of Public Health
Department of Health Sciences

Bang, F. (Felix), Ehsani, B. (Behrouz), McFaull, S. (Steven), Chang, V.C. (Vicky C.), Queenan, J. (John), Birtwhistle, R. (Richard), & Do, M.T. (2019). Surveillance of concussion-related injuries using electronic medical records from the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN): a proof-of-concept. Canadian Journal of Public Health. doi:10.17269/s41997-019-00267-4