I won't let you down; why 20% of Men's and Women's Super League players underreported suspected concussions

Daniel Tadmor, Kevin Till, Gemma Phillips, James Brown, Laura Fairbank, Sharief Hendricks, Rich D. Johnston, Thomas Longworth, Keith Stokes, Ben Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Objectives: Quantify and identify factors associated with concussion underreporting in Super League rugby league players. Design: Cross sectional survey. Methods: During the 2022 season preseason, 422 Men's and Women's Super League players completed an online survey quantifying player demographics, rugby playing history, concussion history, prevalence of, and reasons for underreporting concussion, concussion knowledge and long-term implications and perceptions of concussion. Results: Overall, 20% of respondents stated they did not report concussion-related symptoms to medical staff during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. The two most common reasons for underreporting concussion were ‘didn't want to be ruled out of a match’ (35%) and ‘didn't want to let down team’ (24%). 65% of players reported an appropriate level of knowledge about concussion and potential long-term implications at the start of their senior rugby career, versus 89% now. In relation to concussion knowledge, symptoms were correctly identified on 74% of occasions. 57% of players surveyed were concerned about the potential long-term implications from concussion, and 11% of players would encourage their/family members' children to not play rugby league. Conclusions: The proportion of Super League players who did not report concussion symptoms was similar to rugby league players in Australia. The main reasons for not reporting concussion appeared to be due to perceptions of what is beneficial for the team, suggesting both performance and medical staff should collectively encourage players to report concussion. A player's attitude towards concussion is potentially an individual modifiable risk factor and should be considered within the concussion management of players.

Original languageEnglish
Article number02869
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors received no funding from an external source.

Keywords

  • Concussion
  • Diagnosis
  • Player welfare
  • Rugby
  • Rugby league
  • TBI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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