Management of brain injury in non-elite field hockey and Australian football - a qualitative study.
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Originally published in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia.
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.
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