A comparison of healthcare professional and school personnel perceptions and familiarity of academic adjustments for concussed adolescents

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Abstract

Objective

To compare healthcare professionals (HCPs) and school personnel (SP) perceptions of and familiarity with academic adjustments for adolescents following a concussion.

Design

Cross-sectional.

Setting

Self-reported online survey.

Subjects

4,376 participants (1,095 males, 2,003 females, 1,278 missing sex; 2,209 HCPs, 2,156 SP; age=47.5 ± 14.8) from a convenience sample of 51,507 individuals (8.5% response rate) completed the Beliefs, Attitudes, and Knowledge of Paediatric Athletes with Concussions (BAKPAC) survey.

Outcome measures

The independent variable was role (2 levels: HCP, SP). The dependent variables were participants’ responses to the survey items. Mann Whitney U tests (P<0.05) were used to determine group differences.

Results

Both HCPs and SP agreed that concussions can affect school performance (3.7/4.0±0.9; P=0.08) and that concussed adolescents are eligible for consideration under the Americans with Disabilities Act (3.0/4.0±1.0; P=0.81). 57.3% of HCPs and 57.0% of SP reported that they have managed a concussed adolescent who experienced decreased school performance, while 61.0% of HCPs and 57.5% of SP noted concussed adolescents received academic adjustments. Familiarity with individualised education plans (IEPs; P≤.001) and 504-plans (P≤.001) differed among groups. SP were moderately to extremely familiar with IEPs (3.5/4.0±0.71) and 504-plans (3.3/4.0±0.91), while HCPs were only minimally to moderately familiar (IEP: 2.8/4.0±1.2; 504-plans: 2.6/4.0±1.4).

Conclusions

HCPs and SP must collaborate to ensure proper concussion management for concussed adolescents. These results suggest the need for targeted education for HCPs and SP concerning academic adjustments to promote a safe return-to-learn.

Competing interests

None.

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