The diagnosis of a sports-related concussion is often dependent on the athlete self-reporting their symptoms. It has been suggested that improving youth athlete knowledge and attitudes toward concussion may increase self-reporting behaviour. The objective of this study was to determine if a novel Concussion-U educational program improves knowledge of and attitudes about concussion among a cohort of elite male Bantam and Midget AAA hockey players.
Fifty-seven male Bantam and Midget AAA-level hockey players (mean age=14.52±1.13 years) were recruited from the local community. Each participant completed a modified version of the Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitudes Survey–Student Version immediately before and after a Concussion-U educational presentation. Follow-up sessions were arranged 4 to 6 months after the presentation, and assessed retention of knowledge and attitude changes.
Forty-three players completed all three surveys. Concussion knowledge and attitude scores significantly (p<0.01) increased from pre- to post-presentation by 12.79 and 8.41%, respectively. At long-term follow-up, knowledge levels remained significantly (p<0.01) higher than baseline by 8.49%. Mean attitude scores were also increased at follow-up; however, this increase was not statistically significant.
A Concussion-U educational program led to an immediate improvement in concussion knowledge and attitudes among elite male Bantam and Midget AAA hockey players. Increased knowledge was maintained at long-term follow-up, but improved attitude was not. Future studies should investigate whether similar educational programs influence symptom reporting and concussion incidence. In addition, they should focus on how to maintain improved concussion attitudes.