Article Text

Download PDFPDF

177 Primary prevention of sport-related concussion in youth ice hockey: a pilot randomized controlled trial
  1. Kathryn Schneider1,2,3,4,5,
  2. Paul Eliason1,2,3,
  3. Cody van Rassel1,
  4. Stacy Sick1,4,
  5. Lauren Miurz1,
  6. Geoff Schneider5,6,
  7. Carolyn Emery1,2,3
  1. 1Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  2. 2Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Calgary, Canada
  3. 3Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  4. 4Acute Sport Concussion Clinic, Sport Medicine Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  5. 5Evidence Sport and Spinal Therapy, Calgary, Canada
  6. 6Department of Radiology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada


Background Neuromuscular and sensorimotor training may reduce the risk of concussion.

Objective To evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of a concussion prevention neuromuscular training program in youth ice hockey.

Design Pilot cluster-randomized controlled trial.

Setting Canadian ice hockey.

Patients (or Participants) Youth ice hockey players (ages 13–17).

Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors) A study physiotherapist visited teams weekly for six weeks. Both study groups received standard concussion education and previously validated concussion surveillance. Intervention teams completed a progressive neuromuscular and sensorimotor training program (10–20 minutes per session) (including aerobic, balance, strength, agility, adaptation, cervical spine strength and dividing attention), on- and off-ice. Control teams completed their typical warm-up.

Main Outcome Measurements Recruitment, completion, retention rates, time and safety were used to evaluate feasibility. Sport-related concussion was defined using the 5th Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport.

Results Eight teams [n=118 players; 83 males, 35 females] consented to participate. All control teams and 3/4 of the intervention teams completed all 6 sessions [median 85 days (range 42–102)]. No adverse events were reported. There were 6 concussions in the intervention group (n=65) and 4 in the control group (n=53). Exploratory univariate Poisson regression analysis adjusted for cluster by team revealed no difference in concussion risk between groups [incidence rate ratio (IRR)=0.99 concussions/100 players/season (95%CI; 0.28–3.48). For males alone, there was also no difference in IRR [IRRmales=0.37 (95%CI; 0.068–1.94)]. Both female teams were allocated to the intervention group.

Conclusions The implementation of a neuromuscular and sensorimotor training program with youth ice hockey teams was feasible and safe. Future evaluation in a larger sample over a longer training period to examine the effects of neuromuscular and sensorimotor training strategies on the risk of concussion in youth ice hockey players, including consideration of sex and age group is warranted.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.