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College Athletes’ Concussion Knowledge Varies by Race

Awareness low despite NCAA concussion education requirements for athletes

WEDNESDAY, May 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Black college athletes have less symptom awareness about concussion than White athletes, despite concussion education requirements by the National Collegiate Athletic Administration (NCAA), according to a study published online in the May/June issue of the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.

Jessica Wallace, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and colleagues examined differences in knowledge of concussion symptoms and use of concussion information sources among Black and White collegiate athletes. The analysis included survey responses from 768 (82.6 percent White and 17.4 percent Black) collegiate athletes.

The researchers found that Black athletes were significantly more likely to have lower concussion symptom knowledge scores than White athletes. When controlling for covariates, this finding remained similar (incidence rate ratio, 0.97). School-based professional resources, online medical sources, and the NCAA were cited more often by White athletes as sources of concussion information, while Black athletes were more likely to report referees as a source of concussion knowledge.

“The findings highlight the need for equitable strategies to disseminate concussion information to diverse populations by improving the physician-patient relationship and investing in culturally appropriate educational materials,” the authors write.

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