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SAGE Open Med. 2017 Mar 8;5:2050312117694794. doi: 10.1177/2050312117694794. eCollection 2017.

Factors affecting the concussion knowledge of athletes, parents, coaches, and medical professionals.

Author information

Injury Prevention Research Office, Division of Neurosurgery, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and Trauma and Neurosurgery Program, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Faculty of Medicine and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Departments of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.



To determine the predictors of knowledge and awareness of concussion symptoms and outcomes through a survey of athletes, parents of players and coaches in sports settings in Canada.


A cross-sectional survey of athletic communities in Canada was conducted. Respondents' concussion knowledge score consists of responses to questions about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of a concussion and the timing of return-to-sport post-concussion. The percentage of correct responses was defined as the "identification rate." The extent to which participant factors affected the scores was examined by univariate and multivariate analyses.


Respondents were able to identify a mean of 80.6% of symptoms. Cognitive symptoms were most commonly known, and mental health symptoms associated with concussion were least known, and health professionals, coaches, and those with a personal history of concussion had the highest levels of overall knowledge. Language, age, educational level, annual household income, and traumatic brain injury history were good predictors of better concussion knowledge.


Those designing and implementing interventions aimed at concussion management and prevention should ensure that younger, lower income, lower educational, non-English-speaking persons, and those without experience of traumatic brain injury or concussion be specifically accounted for in the design and implementation of interventions to prevent and treat concussion and mild traumatic brain injury.


Concussion; knowledge; prevention; public health; sports; traumatic brain injury

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of conflicting interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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