A Multifactorial Approach to Sport-Related Concussion Prevention and Education: Application of the Socioecological Framework

J Athl Train. 2017 Mar;52(3):195-205. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-51.12.02.


Objective: To offer an overview of sport-related concussion (SRC) prevention and education strategies in the context of the socioecological framework (SEF). Athletic trainers (ATs) will understand the many factors that interact to influence SRC prevention and the implications of these interactions for effective SRC education.

Background: Concussion is a complex injury that is challenging to identify and manage, particularly when athletes fail to disclose symptoms to their health care providers. Education is 1 strategy for increasing disclosure. However, limited information addresses how ATs can integrate the many factors that may influence the effectiveness of SRC education into their specific settings. Public health models provide an example through the SEF, which highlights the interplay among various levels of society and sport that can facilitate SRC prevention strategies, including education.

Description: For ATs to develop appropriate SRC prevention strategies, a framework for application is needed. A growing body of information concerning SRC prevention indicates that knowledge alone is insufficient to change concussion-related behaviors. The SEF allows this information to be considered at levels such as policy and societal, community, interpersonal (relationships), and intrapersonal (athlete). The use of such a framework will facilitate more comprehensive SRC prevention efforts that can be applied in all athletic training practice settings. Clinical Applications: Athletic trainers can use this information as they plan SRC prevention strategies in their specific settings. This approach will aid in addressing the layers of complexity that exist when developing a concussion-management policy and plan.

Keywords: mild traumatic brain injuries; policies; public health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletes / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Athletes / statistics & numerical data
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis
  • Brain Concussion / prevention & control*
  • Health Education / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Education / methods
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Sports / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Sports / physiology
  • Sports Medicine / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Sports Medicine / methods*
  • Universities / legislation & jurisprudence