Rural elementary school staff's knowledge of and experience with pediatric concussion

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lindsay M. Stewart (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Leigh Odom

Abstract: The occurrence of a concussion on a young, still-developing brain can result in persistent cognitive, physical, and behavioral consequences (Torres & Shaikh, 2019). Although there has been increased attention on the prevalence of concussions in middle and high school student-athletes (Kasamatsu, Cleary, Bennett, Howard, & McLeod, 2016), there is minimal research concerning concussion management in elementary schools (O’Neill et al., 2017). Furthermore, there is little research to suggest that elementary school staff in rural areas receive proper training to manage a concussion incident or to make classroom modifications for a student recovering from a concussion (Ettel, Glang, Todis, & Davis, 2016). The purpose of this study was to assess the concussion awareness of rural elementary school staff, specifically as it relates to appropriate identification and management of pediatric concussions. In addition, the research sought to determine the prevalence with which rural elementary schools have a school-wide concussion protocol in place. Participants included elementary school staff in rural Western North Carolina. The researcher collected data via an online, anonymous survey consisting of questions related to pediatric concussion awareness, training, and school-wide policies. It was hypothesized that there would be unsatisfactory concussion awareness among school staff and an inadequate occurrence of school-wide concussion training and protocols. The results of the survey suggested that the majority of participants did possess a basic understanding of concussion symptom identification. In addition, the data revealed that the majority of participating schools provided pediatric concussion training and have school-wide concussion response protocols in place. However, more than half of the participants indicated that they do not feel adequately trained to properly address the academic needs of a student recovering from a concussion. Thus, the training methods employed by some public school systems may be inadequate and need revision so that the transition from training to practice may be improved.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Pediatrics -- Brain -- Concussion
Elementary schools -- Rural
Elementary school teachers -- First aid

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