Background Sports-related concussion among youth has been identified as a public health problem. As a result, an abundance of concussion education programmes for youth athletes have been developed. Although some of these programmes have resulted in an increase in concussion knowledge, these programmes have failed to increase athletes’ concussion reporting behaviours. Accordingly, research suggests a need for theory-driven concussion interventions that go beyond those that aim at increasing concussion knowledge alone. This study will apply the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) to the development and evaluation of a targeted concussion education programme for athletes aged 13 to 18 years old. The primary aim of this study is to assess the immediate and short-term impact of the programme on intention to report concussion and concussion reporting behaviours; and to explore, the process of implementation and the relationship between this process and the programme’s outcomes.
Methods This study will employ a cluster randomised control trial, with data collection at baseline (T0), immediately post-intervention (T1), and three-months after programme implementation (T2). The sample will be comprised of county-level Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) clubs throughout the Republic of Ireland and will include teams with athletes aged 13 to 18 years old. Using a range of structured questionnaires and qualitative measures, data will be captured on athletes’ (i) attitudes towards concussion and concussion reporting, (ii) subjective norms, (iii) perceived behavioural control, (iv) intention to report concussion, (v) concussion reporting behaviour and (vi) programme fidelity.
Results Preliminary results from the evaluation and issues with programme implementation will be presented. Quantitative data will be analysed with SPSS Version 22. Thematic analysis will be used to analyse qualitative data.
Conclusions Findings from this evaluation will be used to assess the efficacy of the TPB in programme development and evaluation and will support the knowledge and practice of primary and secondary concussion prevention. Results from the process evaluation will assist in helping understand the context within which the programme was implemented and how these characteristics may affect the quality of implementation.
- Concussion education
- theory of planned behaviour
- youth athletes