Military members’ knowledge of concussion signs and symptoms may be critical to appropriate concussion identification and health-seeking behavior, particularly for those in leadership roles. The current study aimed to characterize concussion knowledge and attitudes among future military officers undergoing U.S.-based Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) training.
Army and Air Force ROTC cadets at 2 large, public universities were utilized for a survey-based observational study. The study was approved by the institutional review board at both university research sites. Cadets completed a modified Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitude Survey to obtain cadets’ Concussion Knowledge Index and Concussion Attitude Index, where higher scores are preferable. Cadets’ concussion knowledge and attitudes were characterized via descriptive statistics.
Cadets (n = 110) had a mean Concussion Knowledge Index of 18.8 ± 3.2 (range = 9-23, out of 25). Potentially detrimental misconceptions included: belief that typically concussion symptoms no longer persist after 10 days (79.1%) and brain imaging shows visible physical damage following concussion (74.5%). Mean Concussion Attitude Index was 60.6 ± 7.4 (range = 46-75, out of 75). In general, cadets reported higher agreement with safe concussion behavior than what they believe peers would report.
Cadets were found to have a high concussion knowledge, yet common misconceptions remained. Cadets consistently reported safe choices but were less sure that peers felt similarly; future investigations should evaluate ROTC concussion social norms and education should note peers’ beliefs supporting safe concussion attitudes.

© The Association of Military Surgeons of the United States 2021. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: