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Reporting of concussions and concussion-like symptoms in female high school athletes
Poster Title: Reporting of concussions and concussion-like symptoms in female high school athletes
Submitted on 26 Feb 2016
Author(s): Mark Burghart, Tracy McDonald, Michael Moncure, Niamin Nazir, Jill Kouts, Jeff Radel
Affiliations: Center for Concussion Management, University of Kansas Hospital
This poster was presented at PINKconcussions International Summit on Female Concussion and TBI
Poster Views: 1,900
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Poster Information
Abstract: Under-reporting of concussions and concussion-like symptoms in athletes continues to be a serious medical concern. Despite mounting worry, little evidence exists examining incidence of under-reporting and documenting characteristics of female athletes participating in high school sports.Survey data were collected for female high school athletes participating in a school-sanctioned sport during the 2011-2013 academic years, characterizing concussion incidence and reporting behaviors of athletes.A total of 77 athletes completed the survey, representing 14 female sports. Twenty-three athletes (29.9%) indicated a previously diagnosed concussion, with 14 other athletes (18.2%) reporting a potentially undiagnosed concussion. Ten athletes stated they experienced concussion symptoms and never reported them to coaches or training staffs. Only 66.2% of these athletes reported receiving concussion education at school. No statistical relationship was found between athletes with concussion education and those with diagnosed concussions (χ^2(1, N = 77) = 0.58, p = 0.45), removal from play after experiencing symptoms (χ^2(2, N = 77) = 0.68, p = 0.71), or follow-up medical care after a suspected concussion (χ^2(2, N = 77) = 0.62, p = 0.73). Female high school athletes under-report signs and symptoms of concussions, much like their male counterparts. School-sponsored concussion education should occur at higher rates among female athletes to influence reporting behaviors.
Summary: Under-reporting of concussions and symptoms continues to be problematic in athletics. Many studies have explored prevalence of under-reporting in sport, but these studies mainly included cohorts comprised of mostly male athletes. This study aimed to examine the under-reporting rates and behaviors of female high school athletes. References: Dick RW. Is there a gender difference in concussion incidence and outcomes? Br J Sports Med. 2009

Marar M, McIlvain NM, Fields SK, Comstock RD. Epidemiology of concussions among United States high school athletes in 20 sports. Am J Sports Med. 2012

LaBotz M, Martin MR, Kimura IF, Hetzler RK, Nichols AW. A comparison of a preparticipation evaluation history form and a symptom-based concussion survey in the identification of previous head injury in collegiate athletes. Clin J Sport Med. 2005
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