Principle Investigator: Johna K. Register-Mihalik, PhD, ATC
Institution: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title: Understanding the Influence of Concussion Education on Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors Concerning Concussion among Youth Athletes, Coaches, and Parents.
Abstract: Concussion among youth athletes is a serious and potentially catastrophic event that results in significant burdens to both the health care system and the individual’s quality of life. While concussion education is mandated in several recent statutes, it is unclear if concussion education, and the format in which it is presented, is even able to change these factors.
Aims: To evaluate the effectiveness of two pre-season educational interventions on the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and care-seeking patterns concerning concussion among youth athletes, parents, and coaches and to describe the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors concerning concussion among these same individuals.
Study Design: A stratified (sport/gender) randomized (intervention group) study design will be used to assess knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors concerning concussion among youth athletes, parents, and coaches prior to and following an educational intervention in each group.
Materials and Methods: Approximately 300 athletes ages 8-14 from a total of 8 Pop-Warner football teams (4 from NC, 4 from AZ), 12 youth soccer teams (6 from NC, 6 from AZ), and 4 youth ice-hockey teams (all from NC), their parents (n~300), and their coaches (n~45) will serve as study participants. For the descriptive aim, 150 coaches will serve as participants. An equal number of boys and girls teams for each sport, with the exception of football, will be used at each study site. Half of the teams (athletes/parents/coaches) for each sport at each study site will be randomly assigned to one of the two educational intervention groups (DVD only and DVD+in-person reinforcement). Prior to and at three time points following the educational intervention (immediately, 1-month post, 2-months post) a pre-validated survey will be used to assess knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors concerning concussion among athletes, parents, and coaches.
Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcomes of interest include athlete, coach, and parent knowledge scores about concussion and attitude scores concerning concussion. Athlete protective equipment wearing behavior scores will also be examined. Coach/parentgeneral behavior scores concerning mild TBI will be evaluated.
Significance: Little is known about knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors concerning concussion among youth athletes, their parents, and their coaches. Furthermore, a thorough understanding of the effects of education and awareness programs on improving knowledge, attitude and behavior is important to develop effective prevention and management efforts for this vulnerable population.