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Concussion Reporting Rates at the Conclusion of an Intercollegiate Athletic Career

Llewellyn, Tracy MS, ATC*; Burdette, G. Trey EdD; Joyner, A. Barry PhD; Buckley, Thomas A. EdD, ATC

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: January 2014 - Volume 24 - Issue 1 - p 76–79
doi: 10.1097/01.jsm.0000432853.77520.3d
Brief Report

Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the current reported, unreported, and potentially unrecognized concussion rates among collegiate student-athletes who have completed their collegiate athletic career.

Design: Retrospective survey.

Setting: College and University athletic training rooms.

Participants: One hundred sixty-one collegiate student-athletes (56.5% women; aged 21.5 ± 1.3; 3.7 ± 1.0 years of collegiate athletic experience) from 10 institutions who had either completed their intercollegiate athletic eligibility or were no longer participating.

Main Outcome Measures: The self-reported concussion rate, the unreported rate and reasons, and the potentially unrecognized concussion rate.

Results: The self-reported concussion rate was 33.5% (54/161), and 22.2% (12) self-reported at least 3 concussions. The unreported rate was 11.8% (19/161), and the potentially unrecognized rate was 26.1% (42/161) with the most common unrecognized symptom being “knocked silly/seen stars” (23.6% [38/161]).

Conclusions: Overall, 49.7% of all respondents (80/161) reported 1 acknowledged, unreported, or potential concussion. The unreported rate was lower than previous high school studies; however, the potentially unrecognized rate remains high and should be clinically concerning. These findings suggest educational interventions targeting collegiate student-athletes should remain and continue to focus on identifying concussion symptoms and dispelling the common misconception that “bell ringers” and “dings” are not concussions.

*Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia; and

Department of Health and Kinesiology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia.

Corresponding Author: Thomas Buckley, EdD, ATC, Department of Health and Kinesiology, Georgia Southern University, PO Box 8076, Statesboro, GA 30460 (TBuckley@Georgiasouthern.edu).

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Received October 29, 2012

Accepted May 29, 2013

Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.