Parental Misconceptions Regarding Sports-Related Concussion
Methods: After Institutional Review Board approval, a previously validated online survey adapted for this study was completed from May to December 2013 by two groups, parents/caregivers who had their children evaluated at an Orthopaedic Center Primary Care Sports Medicine clinics for musculoskeletal or mild traumatic brain injuries and parents of students attending a local private school.
A Concussion Knowledge Index (CKI) (scores 0 to 25) and a Concussion Attitude Index (CAI) (score 15 to 75) were calculated using the data collected. Higher score indicated higher knowledge. Scores were compared using t-tests and chi-square tests.
Results: Group 1: total of 227 surveys, 214 completed (N=214), Group 2: total of 349 surveys, 235 completed (N=235).
Both groups of parents seemed to have misconceptions in specific points: 1.Brain imaging (CT/MRI) demonstrate abnormalities with concussion; 2. “Bell ringer or ding” is a concussion; 3. Reduced breathing rate as a symptom; 4. Difficulty speaking as a symptom.
Additionally, parents from group 1 that had received concussion education in the past had better CKI (20.47 vs. 19.08; p=0.01) and CAI (65.09 vs. 61.96; p=0.01), than those who had not.
Conclusion: The majority of the parents demonstrated poor knowledge on a few key points. These false perceptions may impact when medical care is sought after concussion and lead to less than optimal home care after a concussion. Many parents are in need of education regarding concussion identification and post-injury evaluation. Further, our findings suggest that previously, the provision of education and instruction improves parental knowledge and attitudes towards sports-related concussions. Thus, developing future parental education programs that address these misconceptions can be effective to enhance knowledge and understanding.