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Purpose: Assess whether athletes with a prior concussion diagnosis are more likely to continue play with a possible concussion. Additionally, explore whether reasons for concussion under-reporting are different among athletes with a prior concussion when compared to other athletes. Methods: Cross-sectional survey of 328 collegiate athletes. Results: Athletes with a prior concussion diagnosis had significantly greater relative risk of continuing play while symptomatic of a possible concussion during their most recent season compared to athletes without prior concussion diagnosis. Significant differences exist in the reasons that athletes provided for not reporting by history of concussion. Conclusions: Findings suggest that learning may have occurred as a result of the prior diagnosis; however, this learning did not appear to result in safer reporting behavior. Additional research is necessary to clarify why athletes who have been previously diagnosed with a concussion are more likely to continue playing while experiencing concussion symptoms.
Kroshus and Chrisman are with the Dept. of Pediatrics, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Milroy is with the Dept. of Public Health Education, Institute to Promote Athlete Health & Wellness, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Greensboro, NC. Baugh is with the Division of Sports Medicine, Interfaculty Initiative in Health Policy, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.