Objective: A pilot study to examine the incidence and characteristics of concussions for one season of university football and soccer.
Design: Retrospective survey.
Participants: 60 football and 70 soccer players reporting to 1998 fall training camp. Of these, 44 football and 52 soccer players returned a completed questionnaire.
Main outcome measures: Based on self-reported symptoms, calculations were made to determine the number of concussions experienced during the previous season, the duration of symptoms, the time for return to play and any associated risk factors for concussions.
Results: Of all the athletes who returned completed questionnaires, 34.1% of the football players and 46.2% of the soccer players had experienced symptoms of a concussion during the previous season. Only 16.7% of the concussed football players and 29.2% of the concussed soccer players realized they had suffered a concussion. All of the concussed football players and 75.0% of the concussed soccer players experienced more than one concussion during the season. The symptoms from the concussion lasted for at least 1 day in 28.6% of the football players and 18.1% of the soccer players. Variables that increased the odds of suffering a concussion during the previous season for football and soccer players included a past history of a recognized concussion.
Conclusion: More university soccer players than football players may be experiencing sport related concussions. Variables that seem to increase the odds of suffering a concussion during the previous season for football and soccer players include a history of a recognized concussion. Despite being relatively common, many players may not recognize the symptoms of a concussion.