Background: We established a routine protocol for concussion evaluation in athletes for nonmedical personnel. The evaluation, management guidelines, and return-to-play recommendations were summarized with a memorable mnemonic on a convenient handheld card.
Materials and methods: The ability to remember the return-to-play mnemonic and effectively apply it to corresponding guidelines was evaluated in 194 sports personnel without medical training. The participants were given three clinical scenarios, each including age, pertinent history, sporting event, description of an injury, symptoms, signs, and a brief neurological exam. Subsequently, the subject's ability to recall the return-to-play mnemonic and the Standard Assessment of Concussion, to describe the corresponding guidelines, and to advise return-to-play was evaluated.
Conclusion: Our "return-to-play" mnemonic was found to be simple and memorable, allowing for a high recall percentage and accurate evaluation of concussion cases. High intersubject agreement suggests that this method has both standardization and generalization potential.