Raising Concussion Awareness among Amateur Athletes: An Examination of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Heads Up Campaign

Brian L. Quick, Elizabeth M. Glowacki, Lauren A. Kriss, Daniel E. Hartman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Attention to concussion prevention and management has grown in recent years due to the potentially long-term, debilitating effects a head injury can have on an individual. Although multiple campaigns have been designed to target this issue, there remains a need to evaluate the persuasive principles used to advocate for safety measures and protocols, specifically within youth sports. With this in mind, we applied the health belief model (HBM) in our content analysis of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Heads Up concussion awareness campaign. Campaign videos (N = 35) were coded for threat severity, threat susceptibility, benefits, barriers, self-efficacy, and cues to action. The majority of videos communicated the seriousness of concussions and attempts to communicate concussion susceptibility were driven by personal stories, rather than facts and statistics demonstrating concussion prevalence. Less than half of the videos communicated the benefits of following concussion protocols and only a third of the messages described barriers to following recommended protocols. The majority of videos aimed to elevate self-efficacy among athletes and parents, but not coaches, by focusing on identifying symptoms and concussion avoidance. The implications for concussion prevention and management among athletes, parents, and coaches are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHealth communication
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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