Objective To assess current levels of knowledge and attitude towards concussion in Irish soccer players and compare findings with other athletic groups.
Design Participants completed a paper bases Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitude Survey (RoCKAS). Results were collated and analysed using descriptive statistics to look for correlation between player subgroups.
Setting UCD AFC training facility, Dublin, Ireland.
Participants Seventy male semi-professional and amateur League of Ireland players. Participants had to be registered players of UCD AFC
Outcome measures All 70 participants completed the questionnaire and passed the RoCKAS internal validity scale.
Main results Irish players showed good concussion knowledge, broadly safe attitudes and good symptom recognition awareness. There is a positive association between safer concussion attitudes and player age (Pearson correlation coefficient 0.258, p-value 0.031), although no such relationship existed between attitude and years of playing experience (p>0.05). There were no differences found in either knowledge or attitude in the subgroup of players who have a previous history of concussion. There was no association found between higher levels of player concussion knowledge and higher attitude scores (Correlation co-efficient 0.222, p-value 0.064).
Current study knowledge scores were higher than those of English professional players (p ≤ 0.01) but lower than NCAA hockey players (p ≤ 0.01) but attitude scores across the three groups were similar. (Tables 5&6)1,2 Concussed Irish soccer players are less inclined to continue playing in an important game than their amateur rugby union counterparts (4.3% versus 76.0%).3
Conclusion Safer attitudes surrounding concussion are related to increasing player age, not necessarily playing experience. Higher player knowledge does not necessarily confer safer attitudes towards concussion. Future prevention strategies that serve to only educate players may not be effective unless they tackle the reasons players are likely to engage in unsafe behaviour.
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