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174 Do future doctors in Scotland need further education to ensure they can adequately identify and manage concussions?
  1. Christopher Jervis1,
  2. Stephanie Adams2,
  3. Samantha Fawkner2,
  4. Steffan Griffin2,3,4
  1. 1The University of Edinburgh Medical School, 47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh, EH16 4TJ, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Moray House School of Education and Sport, The University of Edinburgh, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AQ, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3Centre for Sport and Exercise, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK., Edinburgh, UK
  4. 4Medical Services, Rugby Football Union, London, UK., London, UK


Background Preventing sports-related concussions is a medical priority across all levels of contact sports. Doctors play a key role in ensuring concussed athletes can safely return to sport, yet research has shown deficiencies in concussion knowledge and education amongst doctors and medical students. In the UK, studies assessing concussion knowledge and learning experiences have not previously been conducted in medical schools despite a parliamentary inquiry highlighting evidence regarding the links between sport and brain injury.

Objective To assess medical students’ concussion knowledge and learning needs in Scottish Medical Schools.

Design An online survey with 23 questions assessing aspects of concussion prevention, detection and management was distributed to Scottish Medical schools. Data collection took place between October and December 2020. Scores were calculated based on correct recognition of symptom and management approaches.

Setting Clinical year medical students studying in Scotland.

Participants 200 medical students completed the survey (8% response rate).

Results On average, participants scored 87.3% (sd 9.56) on symptom recognition items but only 31% (sd 15.3) on questions relating to management and prevention. 38% incorrectly identified that brain imaging could diagnose a concussion. Only 15% of participants correctly identified that headgear does not prevent concussions and only one participant correctly identified the minimum ‘return to sport’ timeframes for adults and children. 15% of participants reported having learnt about concussion at medical school and 92.5% were interested in receiving concussion teaching at medical school.

Conclusions Medical students show competence in concussion recognition but there are gaps in knowledge concerning concussion prevention and management. Concussion is not frequently taught in medical schools despite a desire for it to be covered in curricula. Further studies are needed to understand how concussion education can best be incorporated to ensure future doctors are competent in managing concussions and minimising the risk of secondary harms.

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