Exploring minor hockey players' knowledge and attitudes toward concussion: implications for prevention

J Head Trauma Rehabil. May-Jun 2015;30(3):219-27. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000018.


Objective: To evaluate minor hockey players' attitudes and knowledge about sport concussions.

Participants: Male and female Pee Wee, Bantam, and Midget level players (n = 183) participating in minor hockey and a comparison group of non-hockey players (n = 57).

Design: Survey.

Main measures: Player knowledge and attitudes were evaluated with a standardized questionnaire developed for the purpose of this study. Descriptive statistics including cross-tabulations and proportion comparisons were used to report the data.

Results: Players had foundational knowledge about concussions; however, more than half underestimated the prevalence and more than 30% were unaware of return to play protocols. Although nearly all players knew what they "should" do when concussed, 33% did not follow recommendations. Players reported more concern and appreciation of the seriousness of concussion than non-players, but they tended to minimize their vulnerability. The most common and helpful information sources were parents, doctors, and coaches, and therefore knowledge translation efforts should target theses audiences.

Conclusion: Young athletes continue to demonstrate gaps in their knowledge of concussions. In addition, attitudes toward concussion suggest a developmental trajectory with younger athletes being most likely to ignore current recommended guidelines.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Alberta
  • Athletes / psychology*
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis
  • Brain Concussion / epidemiology*
  • Brain Concussion / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hockey / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Factors