Game-specific characteristics of sport-related concussions

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BACKGROUND: Concussions are common incidences in sports. However, game-specific characteristics such as tactics, field positions, etc. might positively/negatively contribute to the occurrence of mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) in various sports such as soccer, volleyball, handball, or basketball. Thus, the intention of this study was to analyze game- specific characteristics of concussive incidents in active players from the perspective of different sportive disciplines.

METHODS: Four sport-specific questionnaires for soccer, handball, volleyball and basketball were established using an online survey tool.

RESULTS: 3001 participants completed the questionnaires. 18% of the participants answered that they had experienced a concussion which significantly differed depending on the sport practiced (χ2(3)=56,868, p<0,001; soccer 25%, handball 24%, volleyball 13%, basketball 15%). Whereas handball and soccer players experienced most concussions on the amateur level, volleyball players experienced most on the professional level and basketball players during leisure play (χ2(9)=112,667, p<0,001). Soccer players experienced most concussions by a collision with another player, volleyball players instead experienced most concussions by hits from the ball (χ2(6)=211,260, p<0,001). In soccer, goalkeepers and defensive midfield players showed most concussive incidences (χ2(7)=19.638, p<0,01); in volleyball, the "libero" position and outside positions showed to be significantly affected from sport-related concussions (χ2(6)=13.617, p<0,05).

CONCLUSIONS: The present results showed that factors critically contributing to the occurrence of concussions are sport-specific and particularly concern amateurs. This indicates that most concussions in ball games appear in situations, where medical care units are not necessarily present. Preventive measures should therefore especially address amateurs in ball sports.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 14.09.2016


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