UW-Madison researchers are conducting a study, funded by the NCAA and the U.S. Department of Defense, that will examine the most effective ways to educate athletes on the importance of reporting concussions.
Andrew Winterstein, a principal investigator and head of the Department of Kinesiology’s athletic training program, said that unreported concussions are a significant issue when young adults are playing sports, according to a university release.
“Sports concussions, like all sports injuries, are a significant public health concern,” Winterstein said in the release. “Innovative approaches are needed to help athletes and other young people better recognize head injuries, and to show them the merits in reporting concussions.”
The researchers said the NCAA Concussion Fact Sheet, which is how college athletes are questioned when they could have a concussion, adversely affects reporting concussions.
The study, titled “Making it Stick: A Social Marketing Experiment to Alter Concussion Attitudes and Behavior,” will conduct research on the roughly 2,500 UW-Madison athletes who play competitive club sports on campus, according to the release.
After the results are studied, the researchers will redo the NCAA Concussion Fact Sheet to encourage a higher percentage of athletes to report their concussion symptoms.