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  • NYT: College Football Education, Reporting of Concussions 'Uneven'

    A recent article in the New York Times that pulls together 3 related studies on how—and if—college football players report concussions characterizes efforts to raise concussion awareness as "uneven."

    The October 3 article (and an in-print variation published on October 4) looks at studies that appeared recently in the Journal of Neurotrauma (abstract only available for free) and the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (2 articles, abstracts here and here). Reporter Ken Belson writes that the studies, based on surveys of college players during 2012, "concluded that for every diagnosed concussion, players sustained 6 substantial hits that they suspected might have caused a concussion but did not report."

    According to the article, researchers found that among positions, offensive lineman were least likely to report a concussion, with a ratio of 1 report for every 8 possible concussions.

    Researchers used the same dataset to look at the effectiveness of efforts to educate players on the importance of reporting head injuries, and according to the NYT report found the results to be "inconsistent," with 40% of players reporting that they did not recall ever receiving information about reporting concussion symptoms.

    APTA has been active in its advocacy for research on brain injury, and was one of the organizations that supported the TBI Reauthorization Act recently approved in both houses of Congress. Additionally, the association is promoting the Protecting Student Athletes From Concussions Act (H.R. 3532) (.pdf), and concussion management awareness was the focus of this year's student-led Flash Action Strategy, which resulted in the largest concussion-related grassroots effort in APTA history.

    Check out APTA's TBI webpage for resources that include continuing education courses and links to other interest groups.

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