Consensus Statement on Sports-Related Concussions in Youth Sports Using a Modified Delphi Approach

JAMA Pediatr. 2019 Nov 11. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.4006. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Importance: Given the importance of sports-related concussions among youth athletes, the rapid progress of research on this topic over the last decade, and the need to provide further guidance to youth athletes, their families, medical professionals, and athletic personnel and organizations, a panel of experts undertook a modified Delphi consensus process to summarize the current literature and provide recommendations regarding the prevention, assessment, and management of sports-related concussions for young athletes.

Methods: A consensus panel of 11 experts was created to represent a broad spectrum of expertise in youth sports and concussions. The specific questions to be addressed were developed through an iterative process consisting of 3 rounds, and a review of the literature was conducted to identify research studies related to each question. The consensus panel used a modified Delphi process to reach consensus on the conclusions and recommendations for each question.

Results and conclusions: In 3 Delphi consensus rounds, 7 questions were addressed by the consensus panel of 11 experts, and 26 recommendations for the prevention, assessment, and management of sports-related concussions among young athletes were developed. For many of the questions addressed in this consensus statement, limitations existed in the quantity and quality of the evidence available to develop specific recommendations for youth sports stakeholders.