Why Risk It? Athletes' Return to Sport Decisions Following Concussion Injuries: A Pilot Study

Victoria Waterworth*, Alexander Procyk, Elisa Canetti, Wayne A Hing, Suzanne Gough

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Other contributionDiscipline Preprint RepositoryResearch

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To explore the influence of education and other factors on an athlete’s decision to return to sport post-concussion injury, and whether general risk-taking tendencies are related to return to sport post-concussion decisions in these athletes. 
Participants and Methods:
A self-administered electronic survey was designed to examine their decision-making process when faced with scenario-based questions regarding returning to sport post-concussion injury. Students from the Health Sciences and Medicine Faculty at Bond University were invited to participate. Participants were allocated to a concussion education or non-education group prior to commencement of questionnaire via the random generator on Qualtrics software function. The risk propensity scale was used to assess the risk aversion of each participant. 
Sixteen respondents were randomized evenly to education and non-education groups. Seven (43.8%) had previously received concussion education training prior to completing the questionnaire, with one (14%) choosing to return to sport in the scenario-based questions. The education group reported two (25%) respondents return to sport, while three (75%) respondents out of four returned to sport with no education or previous concussion training. Influential factors that impacted the decision whether to return to sport or not included: game importance, concussion severity and symptoms, and various internal and external factors. Finally, there was a divergence in results from the risk propensity scale when deciding to return to sport and general risk-taking propensities.


This study identified several influential factors including game importance, concussion severity and symptoms which play a significant role in the return to sport decisions post-concussion injury.
Original languageEnglish
TypeVersion 1
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2020

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