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Australian Football League concussion guidelines: what do community players think?

White, Peta E., Donaldson, Alex, Sullivan, S. John, Newton, Joshua and Finch, Caroline F. 2016, Australian Football League concussion guidelines: what do community players think?, BMJ open sport & exercise medicine, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 1-6, doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2016-000169.

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Title Australian Football League concussion guidelines: what do community players think?
Author(s) White, Peta E.
Donaldson, Alex
Sullivan, S. John
Newton, JoshuaORCID iD for Newton, Joshua orcid.org/0000-0002-7892-361X
Finch, Caroline F.
Journal name BMJ open sport & exercise medicine
Volume number 2
Issue number 1
Article ID e000169
Start page 1
End page 6
Total pages 6
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 2055-7647
Keyword(s) Australian football
Community
Concussion
Implementation
Prevention
Summary BACKGROUND: Preventing concussion in sport is a global challenge. To assess community-level adult male Australian Football players' views on following the Australian Football League's (AFL) concussion guidelines.

METHODS: 3 focus groups, each comprising 6 players from 1 regional league, were conducted until saturation of issues raised. Discussions followed a semistructured script and were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was conducted by 2 coders independently.

RESULTS: Identified advantages of the guidelines included highlighting the seriousness of concussion; changing the culture around playing with concussion and shifting return-to-play decision responsibility from players to others. Disadvantages included players being removed from play unnecessarily; removal of players' rights to decide if they are fit to play and players changing their behaviours to avoid being removed from play. Identified facilitators to guideline use included local league enforcement; broad information dissemination and impartial medically trained staff to assess concussion. Identified barriers to guideline use included players' desire to play at all costs; external pressure that encouraged players to return to play prematurely; and inconvenience and cost.

CONCLUSIONS: Players generally understand that the AFL concussion guidelines protect their long-term welfare. However, their desire to play at all costs and help their team win is a common barrier to reporting concussion and adhering to guidelines. Leagues should take a lead role by mandating and enforcing the use of the guidelines and educating coaches, game day medical providers and players. The return-to-play component of the guidelines is complex and needs further consideration in the context of community sport.
Language eng
DOI 10.1136/bmjsem-2016-000169
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution non-commercial licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30102663

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.