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Authors

  1. O'Brien, Katy H.
  2. Schellinger, Sarah K.
  3. Hwang, Brenda L.
  4. LaPlaca, Michelle C.

Abstract

Purpose: The public has long had misconceptions about traumatic brain injury (TBI) and its effects. Concussion education targeted toward athletes has been increasing with passage of return-to-play laws in all 50 states. The current study examined differences in public knowledge about TBI and concussion, and the extent to which students and parents in the general public may have benefited from increased availability of education around concussion.

 

Methods: At a public fair, 246 students, parents, and other adults completed a survey adapted from existing TBI and concussion knowledge surveys. Participants also rated their confidence in accuracy of their responses.

 

Results: There were no group differences on TBI knowledge or confidence. Parents scored slightly higher on concussion knowledge than students, and knowing someone with a TBI or concussion was also associated with higher scores. Confidence was only weakly related to concussion knowledge. Overall concussion knowledge scores were higher than TBI knowledge scores. Knowledge and confidence were not associated with sports participation.

 

Discussion: Given similarities in TBI knowledge across groups, but that parents outpace students in concussion knowledge, parents may have greater exposure or heightened awareness of concussion information education opportunities. Lower confidence in students suggests an openness to education and opportunities for prevention of injuries.