Management of brain injury in non-elite field hockey and Australian football - a qualitative study.
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Issue addressed: This study aimed to assess the current understanding of brain injury in sport, and to identify existing management and return-to-play guidelines associated with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), in non-elite field hockey and Australian rules football in Western Australia.Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with key injury management personnel in non-elite field hockey and Australian football in Western Australia.Results: None of the twenty clubs surveyed followed a standardised procedure for the management of head and brain injury in their team or sport.Conclusions: Findings from the study indicate that the management of head and brain injury was variable, subjective in nature, and that there were no evidence-based guidelines available for the management of mTBI to any of the respondents in this study.So what: Sporting associations and governing bodies should drive the development of evidence-based policies and guidelines that incorporate initial management of head and brain injury, and return-to-play guidelines following mTBI in sport. The primary focus of the initial drive should be towards junior sport where the incidence of head and brain injury is significant.
Originally published in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia.
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