Collegiate Athletes' Concussion Awareness, Understanding, and -Reporting Behaviors in Different Countries With Varying Concussion Publicity



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Journal Article

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Journal of athletic training





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global health, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries


CONTEXT: Concussions are a global public health concern, and education on the importance of self-reporting may not reach all athletes to the same degree around the world. OBJECTIVE: To determine if differences were present in the concussion awareness, understanding, and -reporting behaviors of collegiate athletes' in 3 countries with varied degrees of concussion publicity. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Collegiate sports medicine clinics. PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Collegiate athletes in the United States (n = 964; high publicity), Ireland (n = 302; moderate publicity), and Jordan (n = 129; low publicity). The degree of concussion publicity was categorized based on the extent of national public health awareness initiatives, care guidelines, research publications, and mass media coverage. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Participants completed a 10- to 15-minute survey on concussion awareness, understanding, and -reporting behaviors. The main outcome measures were concussion education (awareness; 21 options; select all sources of concussion information), concussion knowledge (understanding; maximum score of 49), and diagnosed/nondisclosed concussion history (reporting behaviors; self-report yes/no items). RESULTS: A higher proportion of Jordanian athletes reported never having received concussion information previously (73.6%) than Irish (24.2%) or US athletes (9.4%). Knowledge differed among countries (P < .0001, η2 = .28), with US athletes displaying higher total knowledge scores (40.9 ± 4.5) than Jordanian (35.1 ± 5.6) and Irish (32.1 ± 3.5) athletes. Greater percentages of Irish and US athletes reported a history of a diagnosed concussion (31.8% and 29.6%, respectively) and history of concussion nondisclosure (25.2% and 15.5%, respectively) than Jordanian athletes (2.3% and 0.0% for history of a diagnosed concussion and history of concussion nondisclosure, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: In the United States, where concussion publicity is high, formal legislation exists, and sports medicine resources and concussion awareness and understanding were increased. More culturally appropriate concussion initiatives are needed globally to ensure that athletes around the world can identify concussive injuries and understand the dangers of continued sport participation while concussed.

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