Higher Education | Medicine and Health Sciences | Psychiatric and Mental Health
Background: Concussions are common in high school football athletes and can have short and long-term health impacts. New football helmets furnished with accelerometers to detect rate and location of impact have recently emerged. The use of these helmets offers the ability to rapidly and objectively assess concussions on the sideline. However, minimal research has explored athlete’s perceptions of the use of these helmets. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine high school football players’ perceptions of safety and support following a season of use of a Helmet Impact Detection System. Methods: 118 high school football players from a large parochial school completed an electronic 29-item cross-sectional survey to obtain demographic information and safety perceptions at the end of a football season. Participants wore Riddell InSite Helmets (Riddell, Inc. Elyria, OH) the entire football season prior to the survey. Descriptive statistics were computed utilizing SPSS software. Results: When asked to rate the degree to which players felt the concussion helmets helped keep them safe, 69.1% of students strongly agreed and 23.6% somewhat agreed. When asked if they agreed or disagreed that they felt safer than opposing teams that did not wear the helmets only 47.3% of players strongly agreed. When asked if they played harder or more confidently due to the helmets 57.3% of players strongly agreed. Finally, 17.3% of players somewhat or strongly agreed that they would not play football if it were not for the helmets. Conclusion: These findings suggest the use of instrumented helmets may encourage athletes’ feeling supported by coaches/administrators and their perceptions of safety which could impact their decision to engage in football. However, more research is needed to determine if these feelings of safety translate to a change in rates of concussions compared to players with traditional helmets.
Football, Safety, Concussion, High School
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Snyder, C., Snyder, K., Irby, A., Dinkel, D., , Rosen, A. B. Perceptions of Safety and Support among High School Football Players Utilizing a Helmet Impact Detection System. Graduate Medical Education Research Journal. 2019 Dec 13; 1(1).