Relationship Between Concussion History and Concussion Knowledge, Attitudes, and Disclosure Behavior in High School Athletes

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Abstract

Objective:

Examine the association between self-reported concussion history and measures of concussion knowledge, attitude, and disclosure behavior.

Design:

Cross-sectional survey.

Setting:

Classroom.

Participants:

A convenience sample of high school athletes (n = 167; mean age = 15.7 years) from multiple sports completed a validated survey.

Independent Variables:

Concussion history (main predictor) was defined as the number of self-recalled concussions during participants' high school career.

Main Outcome Measures:

The outcomes were recalled concussion disclosure behavior (3 measures) and scales assessing both concussion knowledge and concussion attitude.

Results:

A greater number of previous concussions was associated with worse attitude to concussion and negative concussion disclosure behavior. For every 3 additional self-recalled concussions, there was a mean decrease of 7.2 points (range of possible scores = 14-98) in concussion attitude score (P = 0.002), a 48% decrease in the self-reported proportion of concussion events disclosed (P = 0.013), and an increased prevalence of self-reported participation in games (67%) and practices (125%) while experiencing signs and symptoms of concussion (P < 0.001). Increased concussion history did not affect concussion knowledge score (P = 0.333).

Conclusions:

Negative trends in concussion disclosure behavior were identified in youth athletes with a positive history of concussion. Improving disclosure in this subgroup will require targeted efforts addressing negative attitude to concussion.

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