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Coaches’ knowledge and attitudes regarding MTBI and return-to-play recommendations

1 January 2016


There are approximately 3.8 million sport and recreation-related head injuries occurring each year in the United States, which excludes head traumas not involving a loss of consciousness. Many of these head injuries occur at the high school and collegiate competition levels, where coaches have been found to take on greater responsibilities for athlete health and safety by making return-to-play decisions after athletes sustain head injuries without the help of an athletic trainer or medical provider. In service of athlete safety, it is necessary to ensure that coaches are adequately informed and trained in concussion symptom recognition and return-to-play recommendations. In an attempt to examine such knowledge, an online survey was distributed to 321 coaches nationwide. Results indicated a significant difference between coaches who received concussion management education and those who did not on a symptom identification difference score. No other significant differences were found. However, descriptive analyses of qualitative and quantitative data suggest that concussion knowledge translation – as indicated on a symptom identification difference score – is low. Results suggest that, at this time, coaches report positive attitudes toward certified medical staff, return-to-play recommendations, and concussion symptom reporting.


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