Outcome Measures: The outcome measures were the ability to recognize different signs and symptoms listed on the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) as well as 8 detractors consisting of signs and symptoms not associated with post concussive syndrome. Additional questions assessing the parents’ knowledge of concussion management and recognition abilities were also posed.
Participants: Parents of Bantam-aged minor hockey league athletes volunteered for the study.
Methods: The study investigators distributed questionnaires during the warm up period or following their children’s games to the study participants. Following questionnaire completion, participants were provided with an information package outlining the correct signs and symptoms of concussion.
Results: The mean number of correct responses to signs and symptoms of concussion was 21.25/25 for the mothers and 20.41/25 for the fathers. The mean number of detractors identified as not associated with concussion was 5.93/8 for the mothers and 4.85/8 for the fathers, indicating that mothers were more capable of recognizing the signs and symptoms than fathers. An analysis of variance including sporting experience in the model did not strengthen the relationship between parent gender and test outcome.
This investigation revealed that there is still a disconnect in regards to key components of recognizing a concussion, such as difficulty with sleep, disorientation symptoms, and emotional irritability. Mothers have displayed an ability to better differentiate between true and false signs and symptoms of concussion as compared to fathers. Continued education and awareness of mild traumatic brain injury in athletes should address the misconceptions amongst parents in regards to the true signs and symptoms of a concussion.
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