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Level of knowledge and attitude towards sport-related concussion among the general?public
  1. Andrew J Gardner1,2,
  2. Frances Kay-Lambkin3,
  3. Sandy R Shultz4,
  4. Grant L Iverson5,6,7,8
  1. 1University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia
  2. 2Hunter New England Sports Concussion Program, John Hunter Hospital, New Lambton Heights, NSW, Australia
  3. 3National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Randwick, NSW, Australia
  4. 4Department of Medicine, Melbourne Brain Centre, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia
  5. 5Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  6. 6Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  7. 7Mass General Hospital for Children Sport Concussion Program, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  8. 8Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program, Boston, Massachusetts, USA


Objective To investigate attitudes and knowledge of concussion.

Design Online survey.

Setting Online questionnaire for the general public.

Participants Athletes, coaches, parents, sports administrators, and fans, aged 18–80 years.

Assessment A 75 question survey about the respondents’ concussion knowledge, sources of that knowledge, and attitudes toward injury.

Outcome measures Frequency of responses.

Main results Of the 210 respondents who initiated the survey, there were 146 complete datasets. Respondents identified themselves as fans (46%), athletes (43%), coaches (20%), parents (18%), and administrators (13%). Most (85%) claimed to have little to average level of knowledge regarding concussion, the main source of knowledge for 26% of respondents was the media, and 59% had no knowledge of concussion guidelines (only 21% of respondents had heard of the Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport), although 74% claimed to have knowledge of return-to-play guidelines. When considering reporting a concussion during a game, 77% considered it to be important, 77% beneficial, 74% valuable, 49% brave, and 21% easy. Most respondents indicated that it was extremely serious to experience headaches or dizziness after a blow to the head (54%), extremely important not to participate in physical activity when experiencing signs of concussion (67%), and extremely important to report concussion signs (77%). Respondents’ indicated that it was extremely important for players to be informed about: how concussions occur (67%), concussion prevention (67%), and what to do following concussion (82%). Some respondents (34%) strongly agreed that athletes are undereducated about concussion.

Conclusions Public knowledge about concussion is modest.

Competing interests Andrew Gardner has a clinical practice in neuropsychology involving individuals who have sustained sport-related concussion (including current and former athletes). He serves, in a voluntary capacity, as a member of the Australia Rugby Union (ARU) concussion advisory group. He has received travel funding from the Australian Football League (AFL) to present at the Concussion in Football Conference in 2013. Previous grant funding includes the NSW Sporting Injuries Committee, the Brain Foundation and the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), supported by Jennie Thomas. He is currently funded through the HMRI, supported by Anne Greaves.

Frances Kay-Lambkin: None.

Sandy Shultz: None.

Grant Iverson has been reimbursed by the government, professional scientific bodies, and commercial organisations for discussing or presenting research relating to mild TBI and sport-related concussion at meetings, scientific conferences, and symposiums. He has a clinical and consulting practice in forensic neuropsychology involving individuals who have sustained mild TBIs (including professional athletes).

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