Background A Popular Opinion Leader (POL) educational intervention was developed/implemented to improve concussion management in middle school (MS) sports. Parents/coaches/staff recruited as POLs received three online sessions including concussion education and concussion prevention/management conversation skills development. We assessed POLs’ evaluations of the sessions and their resulting concussion-related conversations.
Methods The intervention occurred within seven MS in the Southeastern United States. MS parents/coaches/staff were recruited to participate in the training sessions (22 parents and 14 coaches/staff). One-month post-training, POLs completed an online questionnaire and/or in-person interview data evaluating their training and conversations. Quantitative data provided conversation frequencies and topic; qualitative data identified pertinent themes using template analysis.
Results Fifteen (41%; 7 parents, 8 coaches/staff) and six (17%; 1 parent, 5 coaches/staff) POLs completed questionnaires and interviews, respectively. Forty-one conversations were reported (average 2.6 per person). POLs commonly reported talking with their children (47%), spouse/partner (40%), and teachers/staff (33%); common discussion topics included concussion signs/symptoms (73%), responding to suspected concussion (67%), and playing safe to reduce concussion risk (60%). POL interviews identified trainings as concise, yet thorough. Conversations were initiated when potential concussions occurred during games. POLs felt knowledgeable and found people receptive to information. Talking to those with previous concussion experience was easier. POLs suggested additional trainings should provide easily shareable concussion recognition resources.
Conclusion POLs responded well to training session materials. Identified areas of improvement, such as providing shareable concussion education materials, will further aid POLs with having conversations.
Learning Outcomes Describe how MS parents/coaches/staff evaluated concussion education training sessions.
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