SSC Sports Medicine-First paper on Concussion in adolescent rugby union players is published in BJSM

SSC Sports Medicine Concussion Study

Introduction Sports-related concussion (SRC) can be challenging to diagnose, assess and manage. Much of the SRC research is conducted on adults. The assessment of SRC should aim to identify deficits using a detailed multimodal assessment; however, most studies investigating the effects of SRC use diagnostic tools in isolation. It is likely that a combination of diagnostic tests will improve diagnostic accuracy. In this study, we aim to investigate how concussion affects adolescent rugby players and how a variety of diagnostic tools interact with each other as participants recover from their injury. The study will also determine the logistics of recording an individual’s concussion history on a virtual ‘Concussion Passport’ that would remain with the individual throughout their sporting career to allow monitoring of long-term health.


Methods and analysis All rugby players (n=211) from the Senior Cup Teams of five schools in Dublin, Ireland will be invited to participate in the study. Baseline testing will be performed at the UPMC Sports Surgery Clinic, Dublin (SSC) before the rugby season commences. Participants will be followed up over the course of the rugby season. At baseline and at each postconcussion visit, participants will complete the following: Questionnaire, Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 3, Balance Error Scoring System, Computerised Neurocognitive Testing, Vestibulo-ocular assessment, King Devick test, Graded exercise test, Blood tests, Neck strength, Fitbit.


Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval was obtained from the UPMC Sports Surgery Clinic Research Ethics Committee (Approval number: SSC 0020). On completion of the study, further papers will be written and published to present the results of the various tests.


Trial registration number NCT03624634.


Click on image for the full paper.

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