Term of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Thomas Buckley

Committee Member 1

Jody Langdon

Committee Member 2

Jim McMillan

Committee Member 3

Jim McMillan

Abstract

While concussions are prevalent in soccer, outside the US there has been limited investigation into soccer players' knowledge and attitudes regarding concussions. The purpose of the study was to access English soccer player' concussion knowledge and attitudes. This study used a cross sectional mixed methodology design. Participants included 26 respondents (Age: 23.4 ± 4.5 years, playing experience 16.4 ± 4.4 years) playing for a Championship team in England (Response rate: 89.6%). Fifty percent of respondents had a diagnosed concussion history. Participants were administered the valid and reliable ROCKAS-ST survey divided into 5 sections and includes 3 constructs: concussion knowledge (CKI), concussion attitudes (CAI), and a validity scale (VS). A 16-item symptom recognition checklist was also administered. The survey contained 17 true/false CKI questions scored as a 1 point for the correct answer and an additional 8 potential points for correct identification symptoms for a range of 0 - 25. There were also 15 CAI questions scored on a 1- 5 Likert scale for a potential range of 15 - 75 with higher scores indicating safer concussion attitude. Following the administration of the survey, athletes participated in a 10 - 15 minute semi-structured interview. Interviews were transcribed and focused by the lead researcher then returned to participants for member checking. Then interviews were bracketed and themes were identified which were triangulated usin the survey results, Nvivo, and a research team. The mean scores fo rthe CKI were 15.5 ± 3.0 (mode: 14.0; median: 15.5; range 8-21). The mean scores for the CAI were 59.0 ± 8.8 (mode: 61.0; median: 60.0; range 41 - 71). Participants correctly identified 13.3 ± 1.6 of symptoms and 6.2 ± 1.5 of the 8 actual symptoms. The mean total score was 74.5 ± 9.8 (mode 67.0, median 75.5, range 54 - 91). None of the 26 respondents failed the validity scale. The main themes to emerge from interviews were injury reporting, concussion definition, concussions awareness, misconceptions, physiotherapists, and discrepancies. This is the first study to investigate concussion knowledge and attitudes among soccer players in the Championship in England. The interviews provided insight into the behaviors and attitudes about concussions that could not be completely captured using surveys alone. The main themes to emerge from interviews were injury reporting, concussion definition, concussions awareness, misconceptions, physiotherapists, and discrepancies. This is the first study to investigate concussion knowledge and attitudes among soccer players in the Championship in England. The interviews provided insight into the behaviors and attitudes about concussions that could not be completely captured using surveys alone.

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