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J Athl Train. 2015 Aug;50(8):879-88. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-50.7.04. Epub 2015 Jul 21.

Concussion-Management Practice Patterns of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II and III Athletic Trainers: How the Other Half Lives.

Author information

1
Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, University of Delaware, Newark.
2
School of Health and Kinesiology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro.
3
Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has published concussion-management practice guidelines consistent with recent position and consensus statements. Whereas NCAA Division I athletic trainers appear highly compliant, little is known about the concussion-management practice patterns of athletic trainers at smaller institutions where staffing and resources may be limited.

OBJECTIVE:

To descriptively define the concussion-management practice patterns of NCAA Division II and III athletic trainers.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

Web-based questionnaire.

PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 755 respondents (response rate = 40.2%) from NCAA Division II and Division III institutions.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

The primary outcome measures were the rate of multifaceted concussion-assessment techniques, defined as 3 or more assessments; the specific practice patterns of each assessment battery; and tests used during a clinical examination.

RESULTS:

Most respondents indicated using a multifaceted assessment during acute assessment (Division II = 76.9%, n = 473; Division III = 76.0%, n = 467) and determination of recovery (Division II = 65.0%, n = 194; Division III = 63.1%, n = 288) but not at baseline (Division II = 43.1%, n = 122; Division III = 41.0%, n = 176). Typically, when a postconcussion assessment was initiated, testing occurred daily until baseline values were achieved, and most respondents (80.6% [244/278]) reported using a graded exercise protocol before return to participation.

CONCLUSIONS:

We found limited use of the multifaceted assessment battery at baseline but higher rates at both acute assessment and return-to-participation time points. A primary reason cited for not using test-battery components was a lack of staffing or funding for the assessments. We observed limited use of neuropsychologists to interpret neuropsychological testing. Otherwise, most respondents reported concussion-management protocols consistent with recommendations, including a high level of use of objective measures and incorporation of a progressive return-to-participation protocol.

KEYWORDS:

baseline testing; mild traumatic brain injury; return to play

PMID:
26196701
PMCID:
PMC4629946
DOI:
10.4085/1062-6050-50.7.04
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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