Julianne D. Schmidt, David Welch Suggs, Michelle L. Weber Rawlins, Laura Bierema, Lloyd Stephen Miller, Ron Courson, Fred Reifsteck

Schmidt et al., J Clin Transl Res 2020; 5(S4): 9

Published online: May 26, 2020


Background. Sport is a socio-ecological framework where student-athletes are part of a larger community of stakeholders, including coaches, sports medicine professionals (SMPs), and parents. This framework may hold influence over whether student-athletes seek care for a concussion.
Aim. We aimed to describe, compare, and determine the influence of stakeholder concussion knowledge, attitudes, and concussion scenario responses.
Methods. We recruited a sample of 477 student-athletes and their 27 coaches (response rate=46.6%), 24 SMPs (48.7%), and 31 parents/guardians (4.8%). Stakeholder surveys assessed their concussion knowledge, attitudes toward care seeking, and concussion scenario responses. Surveys administered to student-athletes assessed their concussion care seeking intentions and behaviors. Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to compare responses between stakeholder groups and to determine differences in student-athlete intentions and behaviors (alpha=0.05).
Results. SMPs had significantly better knowledge (p<0.001) and concussion scenario responses (p<0.001) compared to both coaches and parents. SMPs also had significantly better attitudes compared to parents, but not coaches (p=0.038). Coach concussion scenario responses (p=0.044) and sports medicine professional knowledge positively influenced student-athletes’ concussion care seeking intentions (p=0.049). Parent responses were not associated with their child’s concussion care seeking intentions and behaviors.
Conclusions. The gap in coach and parent concussion knowledge and concussion scenario response relative to SMPs is a preliminary target for stakeholder concussion education and supports the current sports medicine model where SMPs primarily disseminate concussion education. Stakeholders, specifically coaches and SMPs, do hold influence over collegiate athlete concussion care seeking intentions and behaviors.
Relevance for patients. Stakeholders should be addressed within educational efforts aimed at student-athletes and should also complete stakeholder-specific concussion education.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18053/jctres.05.2020S4.009

Author affiliation

1. Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
2. UGA Concussion Research Laboratory, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
3. Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
4. Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
5. Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
6. Athletic Association, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
7. University Health Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 

* Corresponding author
Julianne D. Schmidt 
Department of Kinesiology, UGA Concussion Research Laboratory, University of Georgia, 330 River Rd, Athens GA 30602
Email: schmidtj@uga.edu
Tel: (706)542-4388 

Handeling editor:
Nicholas G Murray
University of Nevada, Reno School of Community Health Sciences Neuromechanics Laboratory, United States


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