Association between previous concussion education and concussion care-seeking outcomes among National Collegiate Athletic Association Division i student-athletes

Christine E. Callahan, Melissa C. Kay, Zachary Y. Kerr, Madison T. Hinson, Laura A. Linnan, Heidi Hennink-Kaminski, Paula Gildner, Stephen W. Marshall, Megan N. Houston, Kenneth L. Cameron, Johna Register-Mihalik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Context: Limited data exist concerning differences in concussion-education exposure and how education exposures relate to care seeking and symptom disclosure, specifically by National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I studentathletes. Objective: To investigate demographic characteristics associated with concussion-education exposure and examine whether overall education exposure (yes versus no) and education-source exposure number (multiple sources versus a single source) affect concussion care-seeking and disclosure factors in Division I student-athletes. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Classroom or online survey. Patients or Other Participants: Division I student-athletes (n = 341). Main Outcome Measure(s): Frequencies and proportions were computed for sex, race, school year, sport, and concussion history across concussion-education groups. Prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% CIs were calculated to quantify the associations between student-athlete characteristics and (1) overall concussion- education exposure and (2) source-exposure number. Separate multivariable linear regression models estimated adjusted mean differences (MDs) and 95% CIs, which allowed us to assess differences in concussion knowledge, attitudes, and perceived social norms relative to concussion-education exposure and exposure to multiple sources. Separate multivariable binomial regression models were performed to estimate adjusted PRs and 95% CIs in order to evaluate associations of intention, perceived control, and care-seeking or disclosure behaviors and overall concussion-education exposure and exposure to multiple sources. All models controlled for sex, sport, and concussion history. Results: Overall, 276 (80.9%) participants reported previous concussion education, with 179 (64.9%) being exposed to multiple sources. Student-athletes who participated in a contact sport (adjusted PR = 1.24; 95% CI = 1.06, 1.44) and those who had a concussion history (adjusted PR = 1.19; 95% CI = 1.09, 1.31) had higher prevalences of concussion-education exposure. Females had a lower prevalence of reporting multiple sources (adjusted PR = 0.82; 95% CI = 0.68, 0.99). Overall concussioneducation exposure was significantly associated with more favorable perceived social norms surrounding concussion care seeking (adjusted MD = 1.37; 95% CI = 0.13, 2.61). Conclusions: These findings highlighted the potential differences in overall concussion-education exposure and provide clinicians with information on groups who may benefit from additional targeted education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-301
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Concussion disclosure
  • Concussion prevention
  • Mild traumatic brain injuries


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