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J Athl Train. 2001 Jun;36(2):145-149.

A Survey of Practice Patterns in Concussion Assessment and Management.

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1
NovaCare Athletic Training Research and Education Laboratory, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To identify methods used by athletic trainers to assess concussions and the use of that information to assist in return-to-play decisions and to determine athletic trainers' familiarity with new standardized methods of concussion assessment.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

A 21-item questionnaire was distributed to attendees of a minicourse at the 1999 National Athletic Trainers' Association Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposia entitled "Use of Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC) in the Immediate Sideline Evaluation of Injured Athletes." SUBJECTS: A total of 339 valid surveys were returned by the attendees of the minicourse.

MEASUREMENTS:

We used frequency analysis and descriptive statistics.

RESULTS:

Clinical examination (33%) and a symptom checklist (15.3%) were the most common evaluative tools used to assess concussions. The Colorado Guidelines (28%) were used more than other concussion management guidelines. Athletic trainers (34%) and team physicians (40%) were primarily responsible for making decisions regarding return to play. A large number of respondents (83.5%) believed that the use of a standardized method of concussion assessment provided more information than routine clinical and physical examination alone.

CONCLUSIONS:

Athletic trainers are using a variety of clinical tools to evaluate concussions in athletes. Clinical evaluation and collaboration with physicians still appear to be the primary methods used for return-to-play decisions. However, athletic trainers are beginning to use standardized methods of concussion to evaluate these injuries and to assist them in assessing the severity of injury and deciding when it is safe to return to play.

PMID:
12937455
PMCID:
PMC155525
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