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J Athl Train. 2013 Sep-Oct;48(5):645-53. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-48.3.20. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

Knowledge, attitude, and concussion-reporting behaviors among high school athletes: a preliminary study.

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1
Emergency Services Institute, WakeMed Health and Hospitals, Raleigh, NC.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Many athletes continue to participate in practices and games while experiencing concussion-related symptoms, potentially predisposing them to subsequent and more complicated brain injuries. Limited evidence exists about factors that may influence concussion-reporting behaviors.

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the influence of knowledge and attitude on concussion-reporting behaviors in a sample of high school athletes.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

Participants completed a validated survey instrument via mail.

PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 167 high school athletes (97 males, 55 females, 5 sex not indicated; age = 15.7 ± 1.4 years) participating in football, soccer, lacrosse, or cheerleading.

INTERVENTION(S):

Athlete knowledge and attitude scores served as separate predictor variables.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

We examined the proportion of athletes who reported continuing to participate in games and practices while symptomatic from possible concussion and the self-reported proportion of recalled concussion and bell-ringer events disclosed after possible concussive injury.

RESULTS:

Only 40% of concussion events and 13% of bell-ringer recalled events in the sample were disclosed after possible concussive injury. Increased athlete knowledge of concussion topics (increase of 1 standard deviation = 2.8 points) was associated with increased reporting prevalence of concussion and bell-ringer events occurring in practice (prevalence ratio [PR] = 2.27, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.60, 3.21) and the reporting prevalence of bell-ringer-only events overall (PR = 1.87, 95% CI = 1.38, 2.54). Athlete attitude scores (increase of 1 standard deviation = 11.5 points) were associated with decreases in the proportion of athletes stating they participated in games (PR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.66, 0.82) and practices (PR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.59, 0.77) while symptomatic from concussions.

CONCLUSIONS:

Most recalled concussion events in our study were not reported to a supervising adult. Clinicians should be aware that knowledge and attitude influence concussion reporting. Clinicians and administrators should make concussion education a priority and encourage an optimal reporting environment to better manage and prevent concussive injuries in young athletes.

PMID:
23848520
PMCID:
PMC3784366
DOI:
10.4085/1062-6050-48.3.20
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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