Sports injuries are a significant clinical and public health concern. There is a growing call to improve the translation of available evidence-based and expert-informed sports injury prevention interventions into sustained use in practice by physicians and others (eg, athletic trainers, coaches, and parents) who care for injured athletes. This article provides a brief overview of the current sport injury prevention implementation literature before focusing specifically on the translation of guidelines (including consensus and position statements) developed to assist physicians and others diagnose and manage athletes with sport-related concussion and the associated return-to-play decisions. The outcomes of more than 20 published studies indicate that physician, athletic trainer, coach, parent, and athlete knowledge, use of, and compliance with sport-related concussion guidelines are limited. More concerted, coordinated, and theory-informed efforts are required to facilitate the widespread dissemination, translation, and implementation of such guidelines. An example is provided of how implementation drivers could be used to inform the development of a comprehensive, multilevel implementation strategy targeting the individual, organizational, and system-level changes necessary to support the translation of available sport-related concussion guidelines in both the clinical and sports settings.
Objective: To describe trends in hospitalisation for sport-related concussion. Design, setting and patients: Analysis of routinely collected hospital admissions data from all Victorian hospitals (public and private) over the 2002-03 to 2010-11 financial years for patients aged ≥15 years with a diagnosis of concussion and an ICD-10-AM external cause activity code indicating sport. Main outcome measures: Number and cost of hospitalisations; rate of hospitalisation per 100000 participants overall and for specific sports; and percentage change in frequency and hospitalisation rate per 100000 participants over 9 years. Results: There were 4745 hospitalisations of people aged ≥15 years for sport-related concussion, with a total hospital treatment cost of $17944799. The frequency of hospitalisation increased by 60.5% (95% CI, 41.7%-77.3%) over the 9 years, but could only partially be explained by increases in sports participation, as the rate per 100000 participants also increased significantly, by 38.9% (95% CI, 17.5%-61.7%). After adjustment for participation, rates were highest for motor sports, equestrian activities, Australian football, rugby and roller sports. The greatest significant increases in rates were seen in roller sports, rugby, soccer and cycling. Conclusions: The frequency and participation-adjusted rate of hospitalisation for sport-related concussion, both overall and across several sports, increased significantly over the 9 years. These findings, along with high levels of public concern, make prevention of head injury in sport a population health priority in Australia.