Sports Medicine

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 449–471 | Cite as

Assessment, Management and Knowledge of Sport-Related Concussion: Systematic Review

  • Doug KingEmail author
  • Matt Brughelli
  • Patria Hume
  • Conor Gissane
Review Article



Sport-related concussions are a subset of mild traumatic brain injuries and are a concern for many sporting activities worldwide.


To review and update the literature in regard to the history, pathophysiology, recognition, assessment, management and knowledge of concussion.


Searches of electronic literature databases were performed to identify studies published up until April 2013.


292 publications focussing on concussion met the inclusion criteria, and so they were quality rated and reviewed.


Concussion is hard to recognize and diagnose. Initial sideline assessment via the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 3 (SCAT3), Child-SCAT3 or King-Devick test should be undertaken to identify athletes with concussion as part of a continuum of assessment modalities and athlete management. Sports medicine practitioners should be cognisant of the definition, extent and nature of concussion, and should work with coaches, athletes and trainers to identify and manage concussions. The most common reason for variations in management of concussion is lack of awareness of—and confusion about—the many available published guidelines for concussion. Future research should focus on better systems and tools for recognition, assessment and management of concussion. Sport participants’ knowledge of concussion should be evaluated more rigorously, with interventions for sports where there is little knowledge of recognition, assessment and appropriate management of concussion.


Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Rotational Acceleration Rugby League Rugby Union Sport Participant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors declare that there are no competing interests associated with the research contained within this manuscript. No sources of funding were utilized in conducting this study. According to the definition given by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), the authors listed above qualify for authorship on the basis of making one or more of the substantial contributions to the intellectual content of the manuscript.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Doug King
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Matt Brughelli
    • 1
  • Patria Hume
    • 1
  • Conor Gissane
    • 2
  1. 1.Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ) at AUT Millennium, Faculty of Health and Environmental ScienceAuckland University of TechnologyAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of Sport, Health and Applied ScienceSt Mary’s University CollegeTwickenhamUK
  3. 3.Emergency DepartmentHutt Valley District Health BoardLower HuttNew Zealand

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