Mayo Clinic Study: 1 in 3 believe concussion is brain injury

Most high school athletes, their parents and coaches can identify the possible effects of a concussion, but only about one-third know that it is a brain injury, according to a Mayo Clinic study.

Three Rochester-area high schools completed a questionnaire that assessed their concussion knowledge and history for the study.

Of the 262 study participants, 115 were athletes, 15 were coaches and 132 were parents. Fifty-five percent were female, according to the release.

Among the findings:
— Of the three groups, coaches had the strongest knowledge about how a concussion occurs, when to remove an athlete from play, and the potential effects of repeated head injuries.
— Working in a health care setting did not appear to translate into higher knowledge scores. However, parents who did were more likely to know the long-term effects of concussion.
— Athletes were good at identifying typical symptoms of concussion but weaker on how a concussion can occur and the criteria for returning to play.

“We will use this data to guide us in our concussion education efforts,” says senior author Edward Laskowski M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and co-director of Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine in Rochester. “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.”