Physical Education Teachers’ Awareness and Understanding of Concussions, and Concussion Policies and Protocols

Kasee Hildenbrand, K. Andrew R. Richards, Paul M. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Our primary aim was to determine physical educators’ current level of understanding of concussion symptoms and response guidelines. Method: Participants included 404 in-service physical educators (137 male, 266 female, 1 other) recruited through 3 SHAPE America–Society of Health and Physical Educators communication outlets. Participants were asked to complete an online survey. The survey included 8 questions related to previous concussion training, 6 items to measure awareness of concussion policies, 20 items related to concussion symptoms, and 14 items for concussion knowledge. Analyses included descriptive statistics and 2 × 2 (Coaching × Concussion) factorial analyses of variance to examine differences in study variables by coaching status and participants’ personal concussion experiences. Results: Participants reported they did not have any formal role or responsibility related to concussion management, and more than half reported their districts did not require concussion training. Nevertheless, many physical educators were receiving training (n = 291, 72%). Participants who also coached were more aware of concussion policies and systems than were their counterparts, but there were no differences related to concussion facts. Conclusion: School districts are generally not requiring concussion management training for physical education teachers or giving them specific responsibilities in the management process, yet many physical educators are getting trained. This training often occurs online and may be required for secondary responsibilities such as coaching. Participants reported being aware of concussion policies and procedures but were less likely to agree that this awareness has resulted in changes in how they teach physical education. Participants also knew more about concussion facts than about the legitimacy of symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-366
Number of pages6
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Return to learn
  • return to play
  • school health
  • teacher knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Nephrology


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