[3165.3] "I Can't Miss the Big Game": High School (HS) Football Players' Knowledge and Attitudes about Concussions
Brit L. Anderson, Wendy J. Pomerantz, Jessica K. Mann, Michael A. Gittelman. Emergency Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.
BACKGROUND: Studies have shown coaches can recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion, but little is known about HS players' knowledge and attitudes.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to assess HS football players' knowledge of concussions and to determine if knowledge is correlated with attitude towards reporting and abstaining from play.
DESIGN/METHODS: Two validated surveys were used to assess athletes' knowledge and attitudes about concussions. Surveys collected information about demographics, knowledge about concussions, symptoms recognition, and attitudes about participation following a concussion. Surveys were conducted on one day at the beginning of a competitive HS football camp during the summer of 2012. All athletes were required to complete one of the two surveys. A mean knowledge and attitude score for each survey was calculated. Athletes with knowledge scores above the mean were compared with those with scores below the mean to determine if there was a difference in attitude regarding return to play after a concussion based on knowledge of concussions. Frequencies and means were calculated to characterize the population; chi square analysis was used to look for associations.
RESULTS: 120 (100%) athletes were enrolled. Student grades: 10(8.5%) 9th, 25(21.2%) 10th, 38(31.4%) 11th, 45(37.3%) 12th, 2 did not respond. Thirty athletes (25%) reported that they suffered a concussion in the past; 84(70%) reported prior concussion education. Athletes correctly recognized the following concussion symptoms: headache-93.3%, dizziness-89.2%, difficulty remembering-78.3%, sensitivity to light/ sound-78.3%, difficulty concentrating-75.8%, feeling in a fog-52.5%. 90.8% recognized a risk of serious injury if they return to play too quickly. Despite their awareness, 91.4% felt that it's ok for an athlete to play with a concussion, 74.7% agree that they would play through any injury to win a game, and only 40.6% would tell their coach immediately if they had symptoms of a concussion. Athletes with the higher knowledge scores did not have significantly better attitude scores than those with lower knowledge scores (p=0.42).
CONCLUSIONS: Despite having knowledge about the symptoms and danger of concussions, HS athletes were unwilling to report symptoms and to abstain from play. Education alone for athletes may not be enough to effectively influence players to practice safe post-concussion behaviors.
First Author is a Fellow in Training
Session: Platform Session: Injury Prevention (8:00 AM - 10:00 AM)
Date/Time: Monday, May 6, 2013 - 8:30 AM
Room: 151B - Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Course Code: 3165