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Concussion among under 20 rugby union players in Ireland: incidence, attitudes and knowledge

Abstract

Introduction

The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of concussion among a cohort of male under 20 rugby players and assess basic knowledge and attitudes.

Methods

Under 20 age group, players were recruited from local clubs as well as the national academy system. Players were asked to report on their history of concussion as well as a number of factors regarding their recognition of symptoms and behaviours regarding the diagnosis of concussion.

Results

133 players responded (95 % response rate). Players could list a mean of 2.6 concussion related symptoms. 64 reported sustaining at least one concussion (average 2.25) and 36 sought medical attention following a concussion. 61 said that they would report suffering a concussion to their coach while 32 would report it to a ‘team physiotherapist’ or doctor. 114 believed that concussion is as serious as other rugby injuries and 100 believe that playing on while concussed could lead to long-term medical problems.

Conclusions

Further educational efforts are required in this age group of rugby union players to reduce the risk of unnecessary secondary injury. Coaches, managers and players alike need to be targeted in any educational program.

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Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to J. F. Baker.

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Baker, J.F., Devitt, B.M., Green, J. et al. Concussion among under 20 rugby union players in Ireland: incidence, attitudes and knowledge. Ir J Med Sci 182, 121–125 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11845-012-0846-1

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Keywords

  • Rugby union
  • Brain concussion
  • Head injury
  • Sports