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Concussion: Facts and Statistics

Almost 1 in 5 (16%) adults claim to have suffered from a concussion in the past with a further 14% claiming that one or more close family members have had a concussion. A quarter (25%) of those aged 18-24 claim to have suffered a concussion previously.

Almost 3 in 10 (29%) of those who have personally had a concussion claim that they did not seek a clinical evaluation to diagnose and treat their suspected concussion. Those who claim a close family friend has had a concussion are more likely to think that the family member sought a clinical evaluation.

Just over 7 in 10 (71%) adults would view concussion as a health concern, with half (53%) viewing it as a serious health concern and almost 1 in 5 (18%) viewing it as a severe health concern. In spite of those aged 18-24 most likely to suffer a concussion personally, they are least likely to view it as a serious health concern.

Almost 9 in 10 (89%) adults would cite rugby as a sport/activity where children aged under 18 are more likely to get a concussion, some way ahead of all other sports/activities. Horse riding (57%), hurling/camogie (56%) and Gaelic football are all cited to a significant degree.

Less than 3 in 10 (28%) adults believe that safety aids like helmets, scrum caps, face-guards and mouth guards almost always protect against concussion. A third (33%) claim they often protect, with a similar proportion claiming they sometimes prevent against a concussion injury.

The majority feel that there is no difference in the vulnerability between adult males and females when it comes to propensity to suffer a concussion. Some 4 in 10 (41%) think that males are more vulnerable with just 3% feeling that females are more vulnerable.

Almost two thirds (64%) feel that there is no difference in the vulnerability between male and female children aged under 18 when it comes to propensity to suffer a concussion.

Nearly 6 in 10 (58%) adults claim they have not received any education regarding the signs and symptoms, appropriate management and treatment options of concussions. There are just over a third who claim to have a little education with just 7% claiming to have a received a lot of education, with those aged 18-24 highest in this regard (15%).

Almost all adults (92%) agree that concussion if left untreated, can have long-term health implications. Two thirds (67%) agree that in order to correctly diagnose concussion a CT or an MRI scan is needed, with almost half (47%) not agreeing that Irish sports coaches are adequately educated to manage concussion injuries correctly.

Nearly a third (31%) of adults claim not to be aware of any of the Concussion Assessment Tools tested. Diagnostic scans (47%) are the most well recognised, just ahead of physical assessments (43%).

Of those aware of concussion assessment tools, diagnostic scans are thought to be the most appropriate when evaluating a person with a suspected concussion – double the level who feel physical assessment (19%) is the most appropriate for evaluation of concussion.

A quarter (25%) of adults with children who play sport claim they almost always/often worry about whether their child will get a concussion when playing sport, with a further 44% claiming to sometimes worry about it. Just over 1 in 5 (21%) of those with children who play sports claim they have considered preventing their child playing certain sports or doing certain activities because they fear of the risks of a concussion.

Contact UPMC Concussion Network
UPMC Concussion Network

Contact the Concussion Network.