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Incidence, Awareness, and Reporting of Sport-Related Concussions in Manitoba High Schools

  • Glen L. Bergeron (a1)

Abstract:

Background and Objectives: Federal and provincial governments in Canada are promoting provincial legislation to prevent and manage sport-related concussions (SRCs). The objective of this research was to determine the incidence of concussions in high school sport, the knowledge of the signs, symptoms, and consequences of SRC, and how likely student athletes are to report a concussion. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of athletes (N = 225) from multiple sports in five high schools in one Manitoba school division was conducted. Results: Participants in this study were well aware of the signs, symptoms, and consequences of SRC. Cognitive and emotional symptoms were the least recognized consequences. SRC is prevalent in high schools in both males and females across all sports. Of the 225 respondents, 35.3% reported having sustained an SRC. Less than half (45.5%) reported their concussion. Athletes purposely chose not to report a concussion in games (38.4%) and practices (33.8%). Two major barriers to reporting were feeling embarrassed (3.4/7) and finding it difficult (3.5/7) to report. There was, however, strong agreement (Mean 5.91/7, SD 0.09) when asked if they intend to report a concussion should they experience one in the future. Conclusions: The results suggest that high school athletes would benefit from more SRC education. Coaches and team medical staff must be trained to be vigilant for the mechanism, signs, and symptoms of injury in both game and practice situations. This study will also inform the implementation of pending legislation in Manitoba and perhaps other provinces in Canada.

Fréquence, prise de conscience et signalement des commotions cérébrales liées au sport dans les écoles secondaires du Manitoba. Contexte et objectifs: Au Canada, tant le gouvernement fédéral que les gouvernements des provinces cherchent à encourager l’adoption de lois provinciales visant à prévenir et à prendre en charge les commotions cérébrales liées au sport. L’objectif de cette étude a été de déterminer la fréquence de commotions cérébrales en lien avec la pratique sportive dans les écoles secondaires, de dresser un état des connaissances en lien avec les signes, les symptômes et les conséquences de ce type de traumatisme et de calculer la probabilité que des athlètes étudiants le signalent. Méthodes : Pour ce faire, nous avons effectué un sondage transversal auquel ont participé des athlètes (n = 225) pratiquant plusieurs sports différents. Fait à noter, ces athlètes étaient issus de cinq écoles secondaires du Manitoba faisant partie de la même division. Résultats : Les participants à cette étude étaient bien conscients des signes, des symptômes et des conséquences des commotions cérébrales liées au sport. Les symptômes d’ordre cognitif et émotionnel sont toutefois apparus comme les conséquences les moins mentionnées. Rappelons que les commotions cérébrales liées au sport sont répandues dans tous les sports des écoles secondaires, et ce, peu importe que les athlètes soient des garçons ou des filles. Sur 225 répondants, 35,3 % d’entre eux ont affirmé avoir subi une commotion cérébrale dans le cadre de la pratique d’un sport ; de plus, moins de la moitié (45,5 %) de ces jeunes ont fini par en signaler une. Lors de compétitions, 38,4 % d’entre eux ont délibérément choisi de ne rien signaler ; dans le cas de pratiques, ils ont été 33,8 % à le faire. Deux obstacles importants à un signalement ont émergé de cette étude : éprouver de la gêne (3,4/7) et trouver qu’il est difficile d’en faire un (3,5/7). Nos répondants se sont néanmoins largement rejoints (moyenne : 5,91/7 ; écart-type : 0,09) dans leur intention de signaler une commotion cérébrale s’ils devaient en être victimes dans le futur. Conclusions : Ces résultats suggèrent donc que les athlètes des écoles secondaires pourraient tirer parti de programmes d’éducation ciblant les commotions cérébrales subies dans le cadre d’un sport. Les entraîneurs et le personnel médical des équipes doivent ainsi être formés afin d’être à l’affût, tant lors de compétitions que de pratiques, des signes et des symptômes liés à ces traumatismes. Enfin, cette étude entend aussi se pencher sur la mise en œuvre d’une loi en cours de préparation au Manitoba et peut-être aussi sur d’autres lois ailleurs au Canada.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Glen L. Bergeron, Department of Kinesiology and Applied Health, The University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Canada. Email: g.bergeron@uwinnipeg.ca

References

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