A pilot study of the attitudes of Australian Rules footballers towards protective headgear

Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport (Impact Factor: 3.19). 01/2004; 6(4):505-11. DOI: 10.1016/S1440-2440(03)80275-X
Source: PubMed


Despite a relatively high risk of injury to participants of Australian Rules football, very few players report wearing protective equipment. The aim of this paper is to describe the results of a pilot survey of the attitudes of community-level Australian Rules football players towards protective headgear and the risk of head injury. Seventy players from four purposefully chosen clubs in metropolitan Melbourne completed a self-report questionnaire at the end of the 2000-playing season. Almost all players (91.4%) reported they did not wear protective headgear during the 2000 season. Non-headgear users said that headgear was too uncomfortable (47.4%) and they didn't like it (42.1%). However, 80.0% of non-users said they would wear it if it prevented injury. The major motivation for wearing headgear was to prevent injury. Players considered rugby, boxing and driving a car, to be associated with a higher-risk of head injury than Australian Rules football. As a group, the players perceived the risk of head injury in Australian Rules football to be low to moderate when compared to other sports and activities. This partially explains why so few players wore protective headgear. Repeat surveys on a larger sample should be conducted to further understand the attitudes towards protective headgear and perceptions of risk in community-level Australian football players.

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Available from: Paul McCrory, Apr 27, 2014
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    • "The field-based epidemiological methodology has already been pilot tested, adopted in other sports injury prevention RCTs and prospective cohort studies, and published in the international peer-review literature.11 12 35–43 Injury surveillance and detailed monitoring of exposure (ie, Australian Football participation) and compliance (with each intervention) are undertaken using the previously reported epidemiological methods.11 12 35 38 41–43 The study also includes a detailed evaluation of player attitudes, knowledge, behaviours and compliance, both before and after the intervention is implemented on the basis of similar studies.44–50 "
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