Current prevalence estimates of youth sports-related concussions are inconsistent because of variation in methodology and potentially unreported concussions.
In 2013, Connecticut, Ohio, and Utah each added different questions that assessed self-reported concussions to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Two questions referenced recognition of a concussion by the student, 1 referenced identification by a doctor, and 1 referenced suspicion by a coach. Chi-square analyses were used to identify whether there was an association between demographic characteristics and the concussion questions among high school students who played on at least 1 sports team.
The percentage of students who reported concussions ranged from 17.6% to 20.1%.
These estimates are higher than rates of concussions diagnosed in emergency departments or reported by athletic trainers but were similar across the 4 questions. The field would benefit from a better understanding of the impact of question wording and format on estimates of concussion prevalence.