Attitudes towards protective headgear in UK rugby union players

BARNES, Andrew, RUMBOLD, James and OLUSOGA, Peter (2017). Attitudes towards protective headgear in UK rugby union players. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, 3 (1), e000255.

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Background/aim Concussions in rugby union pose a major threat to player welfare. Research has found protective headgear offers no significant protection against concussions but suggests a large proportion of players perceive headgear to be effective in preventing concussions. This study aimed to explore UK rugby union players’ attitudes towards wearing protective headgear. Methods 545 rugby union players (85% male) from a range of playing standards completed an online survey. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected on player attitudes towards protective headgear use. Descriptive statistics, multiple regressions and content analysis were used to analyse the responses. Results 37% of players believed that headgear was effective in preventing head injuries. Playing group was found to be inversely associated with headgear effectiveness (∆R2 =0.01, B=−0.13, p=0.02), with youth players holding stronger beliefs that headgear is effective at preventing head injuries compared with all senior groups. The main reasons cited for wearing headgear related to protection from minor injuries (55%) with only 10% of responses related to concussion prevention. Conclusions There appears to be a good awareness in UK players that protective headgear is not effective at preventing concussions. Continued education is vital to ensure players are fully aware of the limitations of headgear, and players who wear it do not engage in overly reckless behaviours as a result.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Sport and Exercise Science
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Health and Well-being > Department of Sport
Identification Number:
Page Range: e000255
Depositing User: Alison Beswick
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2017 11:19
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 00:51

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