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Courtney N. Condiracci, Psy.D., is a 2018 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Gargi Roysircar, EdD, Committee Chair
  • Vincent Pignatiello, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Jonathan Lichtenstein, PsyD, Committee Member

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

2018

Abstract

Sports-related concussions continue to be a serious health concern as the prevalence and incidence of concussion continue to increase annually (Center for Disease Control [CDC], 2016). Decisions regarding return to play (RTP) following concussion represent one of the biggest challenges for sports medicine professionals. The literature recommends implementing an individualized, collaborative, multi-dimensional approach to increase accuracy when assessing concussion recovery and making RTP decisions (McCrory et al., 2013). The current study examined the self-reported practices of sports medicine professionals surrounding RTP decisions. The study utilized an author-developed questionnaire, Sports Medicine Practice Questionnaire (SMPQ), administered as an online survey to assess the practices of sports medicine professionals responsible for returning athletes to play after a concussion. A sample of 141 participants responded to the SMPQ. Most respondents (89%, n = 126) reported using neurocognitive testing to aid in their RTP decision. A majority of respondents (95%) reported engaging in consultation practices to confirm readiness to RTP. Significant consultation discrepancies were observed between participants’ preference for consulting with team physicians versus neuropsychologists. Gender differences regarding consultation practices were noted with females consulting with neuropsychologists more than their male counterparts. Significant regional differences between the Northeast and South were found with the South endorsing greater implementation of post-exertional neurocognitive testing. From the pilot questionnaire consisting of 43 items, a revised brief 16-item SMPQ was generated, which yielded an internal consistency Cronbach a = .70. The implications of the findings are discussed with regard to the Concussion in Sports Group consensus statement (McCrory et al., 2017) and recognized current guidelines on the implementation of neurocognitive tests, gradual RTP exertion protocols, and consultation practices when making the RTP decision.

Comments

Courtney Condiracci

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-6548-5921

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