Understanding of sport concussion by the parents of young rugby players: a pilot study

Clin J Sport Med. 2009 May;19(3):228-30. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e3181a41e43.


Objective: Establish the knowledge and beliefs of the parents of high school rugby players about concussion.

Design: Descriptive cross-sectional intercept style face-to-face pilot survey.

Setting: The survey was conducted during high school rugby games.

Participants: Two hundred parents of male high school rugby players who were attending their teenagers' games.

Main outcome measures: Exploratory analysis of the closed- and open-ended questionnaire. Concussion signs and symptoms were subsequently mapped onto the framework of the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool.

Results: Most parents (83%; 165 of 198) reported that they were able to recognize a concussion in their teenager and provide a list of well-accepted signs and symptoms. Nearly all (96%; 188 of 196) were aware of the risks of continuing to play while concussed, and approximately half (51%; 99 of 196) were aware of return-to-play guidelines/recommendations after a concussion.

Conclusions: Parents of male high school rugby players reported having basic knowledge of concussion symptoms and the seriousness of concussion. Parents are potentially key figures in the detection of a possible concussion in the postgame/practice home environment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Brain Concussion*
  • Comprehension
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Football / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires