Concussion History, Reporting Behaviors, Attitudes, and Knowledge in Jockeys

Siobhán O'Connor, Giles Warrington, Grainne Whelan, Adrian McGoldrick, Sarah Jane Cullen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To examine concussion history, knowledge, and attitudes among Irish professional and amateur jockeys. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Questionnaire was distributed through e-mails sent to all licensed jockeys, over social media and during professional and amateur race meetings. PARTICIPANTS: An average of 23.6% (12%-44%) Irish professional and amateur jockeys (n = 119) holding a license in 2017. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Jockeys reported their previous concussion history, actions after their most recent concussion and responded to questions examining their knowledge and attitudes toward concussion. RESULTS: Amateur (32.4%) and professional (19.6%) jockeys, who were never medically diagnosed over their career, suspected that they had sustained a concussion. Jockeys displayed good knowledge of concussion signs and symptoms; yet, one in 2 jockeys would continue to ride out the same day if they suspected they had a concussion. They were less likely if they had a race that day. Reasons for continuing to ride include not considering a concussion as serious (85.7%); risk of losing the ride (84.0%); not wanting to let anyone down (77.8%); and considered it a sign of weakness (74.1%). Risky behavior was more common after a suspected concussion than a medically diagnosed concussion. CONCLUSIONS: Underreporting of concussions is proposed as a serious concern, and concussion understanding and attitudes can impact reporting. To address the issue of underreporting of concussions in Irish horseracing, there is a need to educate jockeys and the wider racing community on the importance of timely concussion assessments and access to appropriate management systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-584
Number of pages7
JournalClinical journal of sport medicine : official journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2020


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