Investigation of strategies to improve concussion reporting in American football

Debbie I. Craig, Monica R. Lininger, Heidi A. Wayment, Ann H. Huffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


While research on sport-related concussion has increased dramatically over the past decade, research investigating concussion reporting is in its early stages. The purpose of this project was to assess concussion reporting and work with stakeholders to develop and assess strategies to improve reporting. We used a multi-site, repeated measures design with three NCAA Division I football programs, including 223 athlete participants. A modified community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach was used to develop intervention strategies (Fall 2017 season) with stakeholders designed to increase concussion reporting intentions. Preseason and postseason surveys were administered to determine effectiveness. Main outcome measures included concussion knowledge, intervention effectiveness, and reporting intention measures. For all three programs, concussion knowledge was unrelated to reporting intentions. Two of the three programs implemented the intervention strategies and for these programs there was evidence that the interventions were effective. Specifically, athletes from these two programs perceived more support from coaches about reporting (P< 0.05; t= 2.83), received education more frequently (P< 0.05; t= 2.67), and reported being more likely to report concussion symptoms (P< 0.05; t= 2.14). Our study demonstrates that working with stakeholders to develop site-specific strategies to improve concussion reporting is an effective approach to help improve reporting behaviours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-193
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Sports Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020


  • American football
  • Sport-related concussion
  • community-based participatory research
  • concussion reporting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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