An exploration into sport-related concussion management in Nova Scotia
LE3 .A278 2019
Bachelor of Kinesiology
BACKGROUND: Sport-related concussions (SRC) have become more widely known and researched in recent years. Concussion is known as a functional injury that typically resolves spontaneously within 7-10 days. Approximately 10-15% of concussions last longer than two weeks and no consensus exist with regards to how to manage non-acute concussions. There is a paucity ofresearch exploring the effectiveness of concussion management in Canada while identifying the specific barriers perceived by athletes and health care providers. PURPOSE: To identify barriers to effective concussion management in Nova Scotia from the perspectives of various health care providers as well as student-athletes. METHODS: This cross-sectional mixed methods study involved 40 student athletes who competed at the varsity or club level at a Canadian institution and 20 health care providers with various backgrounds. Each participant completed a questionnaire while 9 from each cohort participated in a follow-up semi-structured interview to explore the themes that emerged from the questionnaires. RESULTS: In this study, 45% of the athletes reported their concussion recovery lasted more than 30 days and more than 60% indicated they thought their concussions were managed well. However, 30% of athletes did not feel supported by their coaches. Health care providers (HCPs) identified lack of education and awareness as well as miseducation as the largest barriers to effective concussion management. CONCLUSIONS: This study reinforced that, in addition to previously studied lack of knowledge, there exist other challenges that HCPs and athletes face when it comes to effective concussion rehabilitation. Athletes identified their mental state, attitude and various symptoms as well as pressure from others as being challenges during concussion ecovery. HCPs indicated that systematic issues such as a lack of referral base and minimal follow up, (if any) and doctors’ billings in Nova Scotia were barriers.
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