Sport concussion knowledge base, clinical practises and needs for continuing medical education: A survey of family physicians and cross-border comparison

Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic, Edmonton Clinic, Level 2, 11400 University Avenue, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
British Journal of Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.03). 11/2012; 47(1). DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2012-091480
Source: PubMed


CONTEXT: Evolving concussion diagnosis/management tools and guidelines make Knowledge Transfer and Exchange (KTE) to practitioners challenging. OBJECTIVE: Identify sports concussion knowledge base and practise patterns in two family physician populations; explore current/preferred methods of KTE. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study. SETTING: Family physicians in Alberta, Canada (CAN) and North/South Dakota, USA. PARTICIPANTS: CAN physicians were recruited by mail: 2.5% response rate (80/3154); US physicians through a database: 20% response rate (109/545). INTERVENTION/INSTRUMENT: Online survey. MAIN AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Diagnosis/management strategies for concussions, and current/preferred KTE. RESULTS: Main reported aetiologies: sports/recreation (52.5% CAN); organised sports (76.5% US). Most physicians used clinical examination (93.8% CAN, 88.1% US); far fewer used the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT1/SCAT2) and balance testing. More US physicians initially used concussion-grading scales (26.7% vs 8.8% CAN, p=0.002); computerised neurocognitive testing (19.8% vs 1.3% CAN; p<0.001) and Standardised Assessment of Concussion (SAC) (21.8% vs 7.5% CAN; p=0.008). Most prescribed physical rest (83.8% CAN, 75.5% US), while fewer recommended cognitive rest (47.5% CAN, 28.4% US; p=0.008). Return-to-play decisions were based primarily on clinical examination (89.1% US, 73.8% CAN; p=0.007); US physicians relied more on neurocognitive testing (29.7% vs 5.0% CAN; p<0.001) and recognised guidelines (63.4% vs 23.8% CAN; p<0.001). One-third of Canadian physicians received KTE from colleagues, websites and medical school training. Leading KTE preferences included Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses and online CME. CONCLUSIONS: Existing published recommendations regarding diagnosis/management of concussion are not always translated into practise, particularly the recommendation for cognitive rest; predicating enhanced, innovative CME initiatives.

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    • "). Evidence exists, however, that coaches and team physicians, who have to take the responsibility of the return to play (RTP) decision (Aubry et al., 2013), do not use these guidelines on a regular basis (Lebrun et al., 2013; Price et al., 2012 (Table I); Yard & Comstock, 2009). "
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