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Keywords

awareness, children, education, interventions, knowledge, parents, perception, prevention, sports-related concussion, SRC

 

Authors

  1. Macdonald, Ian
  2. Hauber, Roxanne

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Purpose: Approximately 30 million children and adolescents in the United States participate in various forms of organized sports, and incidents of traumatic brain injuries in emergency departments have increased to 62% from 2001 to 2009. Knowledge, information, and preventive interventions appear to have been well disseminated among athletic personnel at the professional, collegiate, and high school levels. Research regarding parents' perceptions and knowledge of sports-related concussions (SRCs) however is lacking. This project aims to determine the impact of interventions designed to improve parental awareness of SRCs. Methods: The study used a demographic information sheet and a postintervention survey design. These surveys were to determine the impact of three distinct educational tools presented on the perceptions and knowledge of SRCs in a group of parents with children actively involved in sports. Results: Forty-seven participants completed the demographic information sheet, most of them African American and have at least one child competing in high school contact sports. Furthermore, 85.1% of the parents felt that SRCs are a critical issue, although only 46.8% of the parents have ever sought out information to learn more about SRC. Twenty-nine individuals participated in the posteducational survey after the intervention, and most parents perceived that all three educational tools were written and presented in a fashion that changed their perception, awareness, and knowledge base of SRCs. These parents however stated that none of the interventions captured their attention enough to want to go to a professional for further information. Conclusions: Findings from this study suggest that parents know what educational approaches work best for them. However, it also suggests that a one-time educational intervention is not sufficient to move many parents to be proactive. The scarcity of published studies speaks to the need for further research to determine the most effective approaches to engage all involved groups in an integrated approach to ensure that children can be safely involved in sports without jeopardizing their future.