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. 2018 Sep 20;6(4):102.
doi: 10.3390/sports6040102.

Concussion in University Level Sport: Knowledge and Awareness of Athletes and Coaches

Free PMC article

Concussion in University Level Sport: Knowledge and Awareness of Athletes and Coaches

Ben Kirk et al. Sports (Basel). .
Free PMC article


Using a cross-sectional survey concussion knowledge was evaluated among forty university-level athletes (n = 20, rugby union players; n = 20, Gaelic football players) and eight experienced team coaches (n = 2, rugby union; n = 2, Gaelic football; n = 1, soccer; n = 1, hockey; n = 1, netball; n = 1, basketball). Levels of knowledge of concussion were high across all participants. Coaches had higher knowledge scores for almost all areas; however, there was evidence of important gaps even in this group. Knowledge was not sufficient in identifying concussion, and when it is safe to return to play following a concussion. Impaired knowledge of how to recognise a concussion, and misunderstanding the need for rest and rehabilitation before return to play presents a hazard to health from second impact and more catastrophic brain injury. We discuss reasons for these guideline misconceptions, and suggest that attitude issues on the significance of concussion may underlie a willingness to want to play with a concussion. This suggests the current education on sport-related concussion needs to be expanded for the appropriate management of university-level contact sports.

Keywords: return to play guidelines; signs; sport-related concussion; symptoms; traumatic brain injury.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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