Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Exercise and Sport Science

First Advisor

Matthew J. Sabin

Department Affiliation

Exercise and Sport Science

Second Advisor

Tracy Spigelman

Department Affiliation

Exercise and Sport Science

Third Advisor

Joel Cormier

Department Affiliation

Exercise and Sport Science

Abstract

Purpose of Project: The purpose of this study was to determine the knowledge level and return-to-learn concussion management guidelines for secondary school educational professionals.

Methods: Surveys were distributed to 1,334 middle and high school educational professionals. Surveys included questions regarding basic demographics, teaching and coaching experience, personal concussion experiences, general concussion knowledge, and knowledge of return-to-learn guidelines. Results: Survey response rate was 15.7% (N=210). The mean teaching experience was 13.9±8.6yr and 46.4% had previous or current coaching experience. Overall 25.8% of respondents had taken a class/clinic on concussion recognition. Of those that coached, only 49.0% took a class on concussion recognition. No significant relationships existed between those who have coached (p=0.87), previous personal concussion history (p=0.19), or those who had a class/clinic on concussion symptom recognition (p=0.57). Educational professionals correctly identified 87.6% of concussion symptoms on average and correctly identified 71.2% of non-concussion related symptoms. Regarding return-to-learn guidelines, 64.4% were uncertain if their school had a written concussion management protocol to assist teachers in the classroom and 88.7% stated they had no additional education on the topic. In addition, only 44.8% were informed if a student had received a concussion.

Conclusion: Though knowledge of educational professionals is adequate in identifying concussion symptoms in concussed students, care within the classroom is still under emphasized. Communication is limited and educational professionals are not informed of concussed students needing potential accommodations. Furthermore, there is a paucity of education in management of such conditions within the classroom.

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