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Concussion knowledge, attitudes and reporting intention amongst UK university student-athletes: Implications for institutions, coaches and future research

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-19, 08:40 authored by Dominic MalcolmDominic Malcolm, Jack Hardwicke, James Andrew KenyonJames Andrew Kenyon
This article reports on a survey of concussion knowledge (CK), attitudes (CA) and reporting intention (CRI) amongst a multisport cohort of UK university student-athletes. A cross-sectional study design was used, with 217 student-athletes completing the Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitudes Survey – Student Version. The findings show that CK is broadly aligned with previous study cohorts including research in North America, and that sport type had no effect on CK, CA and CRI. Whilst gender did not affect CA or CRI, males returned higher CK scores than females. The respondents’ concussion history did not affect CA. Paradoxically, respondents with a history of concussion had significantly greater CK scores yet were more likely to report an intention to continue playing with SRC symptoms. There are three key implications of these findings. The comparison of findings between males and females highlights the need for a more nuanced conceptualisation of safety and risk in relation to SRC. Second, the evidence suggests a strong need for UK universities to introduce bespoke education programmes and policies formalising the healthcare support and return to learn of students post-SRC. Third, awareness of the complex interplay between SRC knowledge, experience and behaviour will enable coaches across all sports to exercise caution when managing SRC amongst students. The article concludes by arguing that there is a need for further qualitative research to understand how concussion is experienced by UK university students and provided for and accommodated within UK universities.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching


SAGE Publications


  • VoR (Version of Record)

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© The Author(s)

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This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

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Prof Dominic Malcolm. Deposit date: 18 September 2023

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