Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Human Movement Sciences


Athletic Training

Committee Director

James Onate

Committee Member

Bonnie Van Lunen

Committee Member

Connie L. Peterson

Committee Member

Sharan Zirges

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.E44 O36 2007


Sport-related concussion is a common occurrence in high-risk sports and can occur during participation in all sports. The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge base high school athletic coaches possess about concussion signs and symptoms in regards to recognition, management, and prevention of this condition. A 25 question demographic questionnaire was used to gather background information and a 24 question multiple-choice assessment was used to determine knowledge of recognition, management, and prevention of sport-related concussion. A panel of eight experts in the fields of sport-related concussion and/or survey research reviewed and modified the survey instrument, which were piloted by eight local high school athletic coaches prior to distribution. The survey was distributed to 221 high school coaches in the Hampton Roads area during the winter sport season and completed by 126 (57% return rate). The mean total score for the knowledge assessment was 20.270/24±2.099, with a range of 12 to 24. Multiple analyses of variation (MANOVA) were used to determine the effect that selected demographic data had on knowledge of concussion. Males scored higher on the assessment (p < 0.01), as did coaches with a personal history of concussion (p = 0.042), and coaches who attended a workshop on concussion (p = 0.019). A chi-square analysis revealed an association between gender and coaching a high-risk sport (p < 0.01) as well as discussing concussion with an athletic trainer (p = 0.019), therefore possibly explaining observed gender differences. No difference was found for coaches' knowledge based on higher education degree, health-related major, first-aid certification, coaching experience, or discussion with an athletic trainer. Our results support the need for additional education about sport-related concussion for coaches; however, the survey instrument may have been too easy for the intended audience. Further research should examine the effectiveness of sport-related concussion educational intervention methods and the retention of knowledge in coaches following an intervention.


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