Self-reported headgear use and concussions among collegiate men's rugby union players

Res Sports Med. 2005 Apr-Jun;13(2):77-89. doi: 10.1080/15438620590956025.


The perceived effectiveness of rugby union headgear in reducing concussions in American male collegiate rugby union athletes was assessed. Data collection was conducted by survey method distributed using electronic mail. One hundred and thirty-one men's club rugby union participants from eight university teams in the United States were surveyed. Demographic data were assessed using frequencies, means, and standard deviations. An ANOVA was used to assess differences in the frequencies of responses between players with concussions and their perception of headgear, with an increase in positive perception of headgear with increased concussions. Player position and years of experience played a role in the number of concussions and use of protective headgear. Seventy-six different athletes reported a concussion while playing, with the majority (51%) not wearing headgear. Athletes who wore headgear experienced 24% of the concussions, compared to 76% of those who did not wear headgear. The incidence of concussions and severity of concussions were perceived as less severe among the group wearing headgear. The general perception of those individuals polled as to the effectiveness of headgear in reducing head injuries was positive.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Concussion / etiology
  • Brain Concussion / prevention & control*
  • Brain Concussion / psychology*
  • Football / injuries*
  • Head Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Perception*
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States