(HealthDay News) – Although most high school athletes are knowledgeable about concussion, most seem unwilling to report symptoms immediately or to abstain from play, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, held from May 4–7 in Washington, DC.
Brit L. Anderson, MD, from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues used validated surveys to assess 120 high school football players’ knowledge about concussions and their attitudes toward reporting concussions and abstaining from play.
The researchers found that 25% of the athletes had suffered a concussion in the past. The majority (70%) reported receiving concussion education. Concussion symptoms, including headache, dizziness, difficulty remembering and concentrating, sensitivity to light/sound, and the feeling of being in a fog, were correctly recognized by most athletes. Although 90.8% recognized the risk of serious injury associated with returning to play too quickly, 91.4% felt it was acceptable for an athlete to play with a concussion; 74.7% agreed they would play through any injury in order to win a game; and only 40.6% said they would report concussion symptoms to their coach immediately. Attitude scores were no better for athletes with high knowledge scores than for those with lower knowledge scores.
“Despite their knowledge, many athletes in our sample reported that they would not tell their coach about symptoms and would continue to play,” Anderson said in a statement. “A small percentage even responded that athletes have a responsibility to play in important games with a concussion.”