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Assess the Perceptions and Adherence of Arkansas Coaches to the Guidelines in Place by the Arkansas Activities Association (AAA)

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Assess the Perceptions and Adherence of Arkansas Coaches to the Guidelines in Place by the Arkansas Activities Association (AAA)
Paige Wimberley, PhD, APRN, CNS-BC, CNE and Melanie Mata, MSN, RN, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro AR

Purpose: Assess the perceptions and adherence of Arkansas coaches to the guidelines in place by the Arkansas Activities Association (AAA). Methods: Pilot study utilizing a descriptive quantitative survey. There were 2,542 surveys distributed via e-mail to Arkansas coaches, 635 returned. Response rate 24.98%. A questionnaire was loaded into Survey Monkey and distributed with an initial email. Follow-up e-mails were sent every 4 weeks. Descriptive statistics were used to identify types of sports, demographics, levels and frequency of concussion training, perceptions of concussion, resources available, parental education, and unmet needs. Results/Conclusions: Coaches are more prone to use the correct provider and identify concussions based on amount of concussion training (p<0.00). Majority of coaches perceive they are complying with the guidelines; however, the AAA gives specific instructions as to what type of provider must evaluate before return to play. A significant number of coaches did not identify the correct provider to assist or identify a concussion (p<0.006). Coaches felt that the influence of media had increased their attention and awareness regarding concussion related injuries (p<0.19). Results revealed that coaches, who had advanced concussion training, were more likely to utilize the appropriate provider at sporting events for concussion related injuries (p<0.00). Understanding perceptions assists injury prevention programs in educating vital areas that may be commonly overlooked. If one understands the perceptions and gaps of compliance, then injury prevention education can be refocused to address these deficits. More research is necessary to identify opportunities for improvement in what is being taught.

Objective: Learner will be able to identify knowledge gaps in compliance to guidelines.

Objective Content: The prevalence of sport- related concussions have multiplied over recent years. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are at least 3,900,000 sports-related concussions, in the United States, each year. Recognizing, reporting and treating concussions are essential to avoid further injury to the athlete. The majority of states have enacted legislation, focused on youth sport-related concussions, to address this increasing prevalence. Although guidelines are in place, perceptions to adherence vary. If one understands the perceptions and gaps of compliance, then injury prevention education can be refocused to address these deficits. In a study conducted by Yard and Comstock (2009), it was discovered that nearly half of high school athletes failed to comply with American Academy of Neurology (AAN) return to play (RTP) guidelines. There were at least one in six athletes who returned to play prematurely. All States would greatly benefit from a similar study, because evidence suggests that adherence to these guidelines vary. Yard, E. E., & Comstock, R. D. (2009). Compliance with return to play guidelines following concussion in US high school athletes, 2005-2008. Brain Injury, 23(11), 888-898.


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