A survey of chartered physiotherapists' knowledge and current clinical practice regarding concussion in sport.
Abstract Background: There is currently much discussion in the sports medicine literature and mainstream media regarding diagnosing and managing concussion and the appropriate criteria to guide return-to-play decisions. In amateur sport, the chartered physiotherapist is often the primary healthcare professional present at sporting events. At present, there is no research to guide management of the concussed player by physiotherapists, which negatively impacts the consensus of concussion management. Objective: To identify current knowledge and clinical practice patterns (assessment and management) regarding concussion in sport among Irish chartered physiotherapists. Methods: Members of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports and Exercise Medicine with active email addresses (n=370) were invited to participate in an online cross-sectional survey consisting of four sections: demographics; knowledge; assessment; and, management of concussion. Results: A 26% (n=95) response rate was achieved. Of the participants, 35.8% (n=34) were aware of the current Concussion in Sport consensus statement. The mean score for knowledge about concussion was 61.6% (σ=11.1%) and mean score for management of concussion was 81.2% (σ=13.0%). There was no correlation between years of experience and knowledge scores (p=0.45) or management scores (p=0.86). Similarly, years of sports physiotherapy experience did not correlate with knowledge scores (p=0.91) or management scores (p=0.82). Conclusion: Respondents have a high level of knowledge regarding the assessment and management of concussion. It is important that sporting bodies regularly update their guidelines and that chartered physiotherapists look for future Concussion in Sport consensus statements as research in concussion continues to evolve.