Article Text

Download PDFPDF
‘Heading’ in the right direction: concussions reported at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
  1. Phoebe Runciman1,
  2. Cheri Blauwet2,
  3. James Kissick3,
  4. Jan Lexell4,
  5. Martin Schwellnus5,6,
  6. Nick Webborn7,
  7. Wayne Derman1,6
  1. 1 Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine, Department of Exercise, Sport and Lifestyle Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
  2. 2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3 Deptartment of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  4. 4 Rehabilitation Medicine Research Group, Department of Health Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  5. 5 Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute, University of Pretoria Faculty of Health Sciences, Pretoria, South Africa
  6. 6 IOC Research Centre, South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
  7. 7 School of Sport and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Phoebe Runciman, Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine, Department of Exercise, Sport and Lifestyle Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences,Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa; phoebe.runciman{at}

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.

Head injuries and concussion in Para sport have garnered increasing attention in recent years.1–3 Concerns have been raised regarding the reporting and identification of concussions sustained during Para sport, where little clinical information may be available. Risk factor identification, baseline screening, recognition/diagnostic tools and management strategies used in able-bodied sporting populations may not be valid in this population, due to the athletes’ underlying impairment and variation in comorbidities.3 To date, most attention has been paid to athletes with visual impairment competing in contact and high velocity sports, with data showing these athletes are at higher risk for concussions compared with able-bodied athletes.4

Concussion surveillance in Para sport

The ongoing Paralympic injury and illness surveillance studies have been used at both Summer and Winter Paralympic Games since the London 2012 Games.5 The Web-Based Injury and Illness Surveillance System (WEB-IISS), used by team medical staff during the Games, has been developed and updated over time to include clinically relevant issues. In order to enhance concussion reporting, the WEB-IISS has included the capture of concussion-related information for all head/face and neck injuries …

View Full Text


  • Twitter @ISEM_SU, @CheriBlauwetMD, @jan.lexell, @SportswiseUK, @wderman

  • Contributors All authors have contributed to the development, application and write up of the current editorial. Each author has completed a Conflicts of Interest form.

  • Funding Funding for this study was provided by the IOC Research Centre South Africa grant and International Paralympic Committee research support.

  • Competing interests All authors have provided a completed IJCME COI disclosure form. WD is an associate editor of BJSM IPHP editions.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.