E-26 Free Communication/Poster - Behavioral Aspects of Sport Friday, June 2, 2017, 7: 30 AM - 12: 30 PM Room: Hall F
PURPOSE: To assess adolescent male American football players’ concussion attitudes and behaviors using a modified Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitudes Survey (RoCKAS) questionnaire.
METHODS: Two groups (n=19) completed the questionnaire. Group 1 (YRL) included youth recreation league players (n=13; ages 11-13) and group 2 (HS) was high school players (n=7; ages 13-18). Responses were scored as “safe” or “unsafe” based on RoCKAS guidelines. Normative data was established with expected “safe” answers set at 90% and “unsafe” set at 10%.
RESULTS: For general concussion behavior questions (i.e. I feel that concussions are less important than other injuries, and I feel that an athlete has a responsibility to return to the game even if it means playing while still experiencing symptoms of a concussion), 71.3% of responses were safe and 38.7% unsafe (X2=31.25, p=0.0001). There was a difference between group 1 and 2 responses. Safe responses were greater for the HS subjects (Pearson chi = 4.4, p=0.03). Responses to the four situational questions were safe 32.5% and unsafe 67.5% (X2=293.9, p=0.0001) with no difference between groups (Pearson chi = 0.9, p=0.34). When situational questions were analyzed for return to play following an early season concussion with persistent symptoms, 70% demonstrated safe behavior (X2=8.9, p=0.003) by not returning the athlete to play with no difference between groups (Fisher p=0.35). If the situation posed included returning a symptomatic concussed athlete to play in a playoff game, 75% selected unsafe (X2=80.0, p=0.0001) return to play with no difference between groups (Fisher p=0.61).
CONCLUSIONS: As youth football athletes mature, they improve in concussion understanding. However, players’ attitudes and behaviors regarding situational return to play decisions did not improve with age, but continue to demonstrate unsafe behavior.