Attitudes towards Concussion among Elite Irish Track Cyclists

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Concussion has become a widely discussed topic within scientific research and mainstream media in recent years due to the associated potential adverse health outcomes (McCrory et al., 2017). Within cycling, it is estimated that between one and 9% of injuries are concussions (Decock et al., 2016). O’Reilly et al. (2020) examined behaviour towards concussion among cyclists from various disciplines, including track cycling. Their study identified a lack of knowledge as a barrier to medical attention. In the absence of exclusive research, in addition to the high-risk nature of the sport, the barriers and facilitators affecting concussion reporting among track cyclists were investigated in this study. Underpinned by a qualitative research design, semi-structured interviews were carried out with eight track cyclists competing internationally for Ireland (duration between 20 to 25 minutes). Interview questions focused on participants’ experiences with and attitudes towards concussion and perceived barriers and facilitators influencing concussion reporting behaviours. Data was analysed using reflexive thematic analysis, which included an Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis approach. Four overarching themes were identified: (1) Athlete Mindset, (2) Concussion Awareness, (3) Support Systems, and (4) Screening Protocol. Practical applied recommendations include increasing access to education amongst track cyclists in addition to coaches, swannies and medical personnel. Future interventions should also seek to reduce negative perceptions towards reporting concussions and increase awareness of the dangers of concussion and the necessity of appropriate concussion protocol and management among athletes, coaches, swannies and medical personnel. Future research should seek to (1) examine coaches’ perceptions of concussion and how these perceptions are communicated and expressed to athletes and (2) explore concussion management protocol compliance within track cycling.
Original languageEnglish (Ireland)
Pages (from-to)18-27
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Sciences
Volume2
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2023

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