Association between concussion history and knowledge among italian youth soccer athletes

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ObjectiveTo compare concussion-based knowledge between Italian youth soccer athletes who reported a previously diagnosed concussion or concussion-like symptoms and those without prior concussion history.DesignCross sectional.SettingSelf-reported survey.SubjectsMale soccer athletes (n=766, age=16.9 ± 1.3 years, experience=6.6 ± 3.9 years) from 25 club teams across three professional leagues in Italy.InterventionThe independent variables studied were diagnosed concussion group (prior diagnosed concussion vs. no diagnosed concussion) and self-reported concussion symptom group (experienced concussion-like symptoms vs. no concussion-like symptoms).Outcome measuresThe dependent variables were total knowledge scores, measured through accurate endorsement of symptoms and responses to true and false prompts. Independent t-tests were used to determine group differences.Results45 (6%) respondents indicated they sustained a physician-diagnosed concussion. The mean number of diagnosed concussions was 0.065±0.3 (range 0–3). 198 (26.2%) respondents indicated they had experienced concussion-like symptoms. The mean frequency of self-reported concussion-like symptoms was 0.54±1.3 (range: 0–15). There were no significant differences in concussion symptom knowledge (P=0.616, 13.9±2.0 vs. 14.1±2.2) or true and false knowledge (P=0.390, 10.7±1.8 vs. 10.4±1.7) between the group with a previously diagnosed concussion compared to the one without. There were also no significant differences in concussion symptom knowledge (P=0.499, 14.2±2.1 vs 14.1±2.2) or true and false knowledge (P=0.256, 10.5±1.6 vs. 10.4±1.8) between the group that had experienced concussion-like symptoms compared to the group that had not.ConclusionsThese results suggest the necessity for targeted knowledge-based interventions for youth athletes, especially for those who sustain and report concussions.Competing interestsNone.

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