(HealthDay News) – A culture change is recommended to encourage reporting and appropriate management of sports-related concussions, according to a report published Oct. 30 by the Institute of Medicine.

Robert Graham, MD, from George Washington University in Washington, DC, and colleagues from the Committee on Sports-Related Concussions in Youth reviewed the science of sports-related concussions in youth, including military personnel and their dependents.

The authors note that in spite of increased knowledge about concussions and their impact, athletes and military personnel still resist self-reporting concussions and complying with appropriate concussion management plans. The committee recommends that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention establish and oversee a national surveillance system to accurately determine the incidence of sports-related concussions. Furthermore, the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense should support research to establish metrics and markers of diagnosis, prognosis, and recovery from concussion, and inform the creation of evidence-based concussion management guidelines. They should also conduct studies to assess the short- and long-term consequences of concussions. Sports organizations should evaluate the effectiveness of large-scale efforts to educate about concussions and change the culture surrounding concussions.

“If the youth sports community can adopt the belief that concussions are serious injuries and institute behaviors and adopt attitudes that emphasize care for players with concussions until they are fully recovered, then the ‘culture’ in which young athletes perform and compete will become much safer,” the authors write.

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