How do we educate high school athletes about concussions before they happen?

Raised of $9,000 Goal
Ended on 2/12/14
Campaign Ended
  • $685
  • 8%
  • Finished
    on 2/12/14

About This Project

Louisiana state laws mandate concussion education among student-athletes but provide few guidelines or evaluations of whether education improves sports-related concussion management. We seek to understand improved care-seeking behaviors among high school athletes. This project will start to build community resources and inform a student-athlete education for fostering a supportive environment for players with a sports-related concussions!

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What is the context of this research?

A study from the National Academy of Sciences found that high school athletes who played football, lacrosse, soccer, basketball, and baseball were more likely to experience concussions than college-aged players. This is especially disconcerting because the high school athlete’s brain is still in its developmental stages. High school athletes who suffer a concussion are vulnerable to more widespread and prolonged brain swelling and increased metabolic dysfunction following head injury compared to adults. Consequently, the changes may result in more severe and persistent symptoms (e.g., headaches, balance problems, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, reading and reading comprehension impairments) compared to adults.

Additional issues that could also contribute to protracted recovery from concussion include failure to recognize the symptoms of the injury, delayed reporting of symptoms, delayed access to medical care, and limited access to physicians and clinicians who specialize in sport concussion management.

Currently, research examining potential healthcare prevention and remedies of sport concussion among high school athletes is in its infancy. Further, there is limited research that examines the impact of economic disadvantaged markers on high school athletes’ access to concussion prevention materials and proper medical management.

What is the significance of this project?

Most state laws, including Louisiana, mandate concussion education among student-athletes but provide few guidelines or evaluation of such mandates. Few investigations of sports-related concussions have focused on the types of materials used and whether they have been effective in improvement of concussion management.

What are the goals of the project?

Many educational programs focus primarily on symptom identification. This project seeks to improve attitudes and beliefs among players, coaches, peers, and parents to promote better care-seeking behaviors among high school athletes in New Orleans as well as foster a supportive environment for the injured player.

We propose that successful concussion educational programs will include a curriculum that utilizes interactive modalities of presentation and is consistent with the health literacy of adolescents. Further, the success of the curriculum will also be dependent upon multiple aspects of a player’s environment. The educational workshops that we provide involve pre and post surveys to assess understanding of the materials presented as well as attitudes towards concussion injuries. We will also examine the effect of economic disadvantaged markers on the athletes’ and their community members’ comprehension of the materials presented.


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We provide annual local sport concussion education training seminars to high school students, educators, coaches, and officials throughout Louisiana. When we surveyed participants after the seminars, many reported that an expansion of the audience interaction time and accessibility of the content via multiple medias would improve content comprehension. We will use the funding to purchase an interactive whiteboard system, four tablets, and one semester of time for a graduate student internship. The graduate student will assist with the development of the curriculum and presentation of the information. We will present the concussion prevention curriculum to a minimum of 10 high schools in Louisiana over the next year.

Meet the Team

Gregory W. Stewart
Gregory W. Stewart
Jenifer Juengling
Jenifer Juengling

Team Bio

Dr. Stewart is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He is the director of the Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine's Sports Concussion Management Program and team physician at Tulane University. He is the Chairman of the Louisiana High School Athletics Association Sports Medicine Advisory Board. He was a major contributor to the successful passage of the Louisiana Youth Concussion Act. Recently he served as a panelist for the Brain Development, Health & Wellness discussion at the National Conference on Youth Sports Safety. He has served as team physician for professional, collegiate and high school teams for over twenty five years. He serves as the Director of Sports Medicine for the Tulane University Department of Athletics.

Lab Notes

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Press and Media

‘HuffPost Live’ to feature Tulane concussion expert

Additional Information

Emily's Hope Fund
Emily's legacy of providing exceptional care to athletes of all ages will continue through Emily's Hope Fund for Sport-Related Brain Injury Rehabilitation. The fund will assist supporting clinical programs for college and high school student-athletes with sport-related brain injury through the development of progressive physical medicine and rehabilitation research related to sport concussion.

Project Backers

  • 12Backers
  • 8%Funded
  • $685Total Donations
  • $60.91Average Donation
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