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High school coaches, players know little about concussions

By HealthDay News
High school coaches, players know little about concussions

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 27, 2017 -- The link between concussions and brain injury might be a hot topic in the NFL, but at the high school level? Apparently not so much.

Overall, only about a third of high school athletes, their coaches and parents know that a concussion is a brain injury, according to a new study by Mayo Clinic researchers. The athletes themselves were the most likely to know that fact, the researchers found.

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They surveyed 115 athletes, 132 parents and 15 coaches at three high schools in Rochester, Minn. They were involved with a variety of sports -- football, soccer, volleyball, hockey, basketball, wrestling, dance, gymnastics, lacrosse, baseball and softball.

All of the participants completed a questionnaire designed to assess what they knew about concussions.

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Most people could identify the possible effects of concussion, the study found. Coaches had the most knowledge about how a concussion occurs, when to take an athlete out of a game and the potential effects of repeated head injuries.

Athletes did well in knowing the typical symptoms of concussion but were less likely to know how a concussion occurs and the criteria for returning to play.

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Among parents, those who worked in health care had no greater overall knowledge about concussions than other parents, but they did have a greater awareness of the long-term effects of concussions.

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"We will use this data to guide us in our concussion education efforts," senior author Dr. Edward Laskowski said in a Mayo news release.

"By targeting and tailoring the messages to coaches, parents and athletes, our hope is that it leads to a better understanding for all of this significant injury," Laskowski said.

He's a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and co-director of Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine in Rochester.

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The study was published in the December issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on concussions.

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