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

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ObjectiveTo compare healthcare professionals (HCPs) and school personnel (SP) perceptions of and familiarity with academic adjustments for adolescents following a concussion.DesignCross-sectional.SettingSelf-reported online survey.Subjects4,376 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 measuresThe 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.ResultsBoth 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).ConclusionsHCPs 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 interestsNone.

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