Youth Sport-Related Concussions: Perceived and Measured Baseline Knowledge of Concussions Among Community Coaches, Athletes, and Parents
To assess concussion knowledge of athletes, coaches, and parents/guardians in a community setting and to understand trends/gaps in knowledge among subgroups to tailor efforts toward creating educational interventions.Participants and Methods:
This prospective cross-sectional study involved 262 individuals (142 [55%] female): 115 athletes participating in noncontact and contact sports (ages 13-19 years), 15 coaches, and 132 parents. Recruitment occurred from August 30, 2015, through August 30, 2016, at 3 local high schools. Participants completed a questionnaire developed by the investigators to assess concussion experience and basic knowledge.Results:
Females, health care employees, and parents showed stronger concern for potential long-term sequelae of concussion, whereas athletes were most concerned about not being able to return to sport. Those with higher perceived concussion knowledge were slightly older (median age, 42.5 vs 33 years), more educated (college or higher: 42 [70%] vs 100 [50%]), and more likely to be health care workers (22 [37.9%] vs 34 [17.7%]) and scored higher on knowledge questions (average correct: 75.5% vs 60%). Most participants could identify potential concussion sequelae, but only 86 (34.3%) identified a concussion as a brain injury. Of the subgroups, coaches scored highest on knowledge questions. Those with a concussion history tended to consider themselves more knowledgeable but were also less concerned about sequelae. Overall, those with a concussion history scored slightly higher on knowledge questions (average correct: 69.8% vs 61.9%). Participants involved in contact sports were more likely to have had a concussion vs those in noncontact sports (57 [26%] vs 4 [10.3%]).Conclusion:
Significant differences in perceived and actual concussion knowledge across different subgroups of study participants involved in high school sports were identified.