Developing appropriate concussion prevention and management paradigms in middle school (MS) settings requires understanding parents’ general levels of concussion-related knowledge and attitudes. This study examined factors associated with concussion symptom knowledge and care-seeking attitudes among parents of MS children (aged ∼10-15 years).
A panel of 1224 randomly selected US residents, aged ≥18 years and identifying as parents of MS children, completed an online questionnaire capturing parental and child characteristics. The parents’ concussion symptom knowledge was measured using 25 questions, with possible answers being “yes”, “maybe”, and “no”. Correct answers earned 2 points, “maybe” answers earned 1 point, and incorrect answers earned 0 points (range = 0-50; higher scores = better knowledge). Concussion care-seeking attitudes were also collected using five 7-point scale items (range = 5-35; higher scores = more positive attitudes). Multivariable ordinal logistic regression models identified predictors of higher scores. Models met proportional odds assumptions. Adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) (excluding 1.00) were deemed statistically significant.
Median scores were 39 (interquartile range (IQR) = 32-44) for symptom knowledge and 32 (IQR = 28-35) for care-seeking attitude. In multivariable models, odds of better symptom knowledge were higher in women vs. men (aOR = 2.28; 95%CI: 1.71-3.05), white/non-Hispanics vs. other racial or ethnic groups (aOR = 1.88; 95%CI: 1.42-2.49), higher parental age (10-year-increase aOR = 1.47; 95%CI: 1.26-1.71) and greater competitiveness (10%-scale-increase aOR = 1.24; 95%CI: 1.13-1.36). Odds of more positive care-seeking attitudes were higher in white/non-Hispanics versus other racial or ethnic groups (aOR = 1.45; 95%CI: 1.06-1.99), and higher parental age (10-year-increase aOR = 1.24; 95%CI: 1.05-1.47).
Characteristics of middle school children’s parents (e.g., sex, race or ethnicity, age) are associated with their concussion symptom knowledge and care-seeking attitudes. Parents’ variations in concussion knowledge and attitudes warrant tailored concussion education and prevention.
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