Master of Science (MS)
Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences
First Committee Member
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The purpose of this study is to evaluate concussion prevention strategies that are being used in NCAA Division I and Division II schools, perform an investigation of cervical strengthening programs and the concussion rates associated, and determine beliefs of Certified Athletic Trainers about equipment for concussion prevention. Participants included Certified Athletic Trainer’s (ATs) employed at NCAA Division I and Division II universities in the United States, and provide services to the universities’ female soccer team. Data was collected via questionnaire e-mailed to participants through Qualtrics survey software. A prompt was sent out two weeks and four weeks following the initial e-mail to those individuals who had yet to respond. Data was analyzed using Qualtrics data analysis and reports. Descriptive statistics were calculated on changes in concussion rates following a cervical strengthening/stability program, concussion prevention strategies being used, and perceptions of preventative methods for concussions. Each question was analyzed individually based on the number of responses per question. Responses were received from 245 schools (41.7%), 22 of which were excluded as they did not meet inclusion criteria requirements. Thirty-eight teams (17.12%) are implementing some form of cervical strengthening or stability program for concussion prevention, 177 teams (79.73%) are not, and seven ATs (3.15%) did not know if a program was being implemented. Ten teams (55.6%) had a reduction in the number of concussions the year after implementation, ranging between one to seven fewer concussions than the year prior. Seven teams (38.9%) suffered the same number of concussions the year prior and the year after implementing a program. One team (0.06%) had one more concussion than the year prior to implementation of a cervical strengthening program. Five ATs were not able to provide information for the year following as they had not yet completed a full Fall and Spring season since initially implementing a program. One-hundred fifty-three (69.86%) ATs believe that a cervical strengthening or stability program will aid in the prevention of concussions, while 66 (30.14%) do not believe it will prevent concussions. Thirty-six teams (16.59%) are implementing preventative equipment. One-hundred fifty-one teams (69.59%) are implementing education on proper technique to prevent concussions. Fourteen teams (0.06%) are implementing nutritional strategies for concussion prevention. Seventeen teams (0.08%) are implementing other concussion prevention strategies. Nineteen ATs (8.76%) believe that headgear prevents concussions in soccer, while 198 ATs (91.24%) believe headgear does not prevent concussions. Seventy-eight teams (35.49%) have players that wear headgear. One-hundred thirty-nine teams (64.06%) do not have any players on the team that wear headgear. Forty-five ATs (20.74%) believe that mouth guards prevent concussions in soccer, while 172 (79.26%) believe they do not prevent concussions. Results revealed a disconnect between current literature and perceptions held by ATs of concussion prevention tools. A wide range of concussion prevention strategies are being employed at the collegiate level for concussion prevention. Future research is required to determine the effects of neck strengthening on concussion rates.
Jeffries, Kori Kendall, "Concussion Prevention Strategies: A Survey of Division I and Division II Female Soccer Teams" (2017). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 2990.