Objective Report concussion incidence and Return to Play (RTP) times over a minor hockey season (2011–12) in two sub-groups, a community hockey association (A) and a private hockey academy (B).
Design Retrospective, cohort study.
Setting Elite hockey players from A and B.
Subjects 354 subjects in two sub-groups. A: 222 (191 Males/31 Females). B: 132 (114 Males/18 Females).
Intervention Subjects were educated and baseline tested at the start of the 2011–12 season using Symptom Inventory, SCAT2, BESS and neuro-cognitive testing. The Zurich 2008 RTP protocol was utilised. Subjects were followed with serial testing until recovered to baseline or within 5% of baseline. Medical authorisation was given to RTP.
Outcome Measures The incidence of concussion and the average RTP in the two groups.
Results A. Concussion incidence –
▸ A 18% (n=39)
▸ B 32% (n=42)
B. RTP (Average No. Days to RTP)
▸ A: 27
▸ B: 14
Conclusions Concussion incidence approximated that reported by Echlin. The higher incidence in the B group reflects the experience of coaches and full-time athletic therapists in recognising and dealing with concussions, and a willingness to report concussion injury. Overall RTP time was longer in both groups than the previously reported 12.8 days average. For B, the RTP time was less than A (14 vs 27 days), reflecting daily access to supportive care (athletic therapists and physician), daily access to the gym for Steps 2 and 3, and daily ice-time for Steps 4 and 5 of the RTP protocol.
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