• New and Recurrent Concussions in High-School Athletes Before and After Traumatic Brain Injury Laws, 2005–2016

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2017-11-08)
      Objectives. To examine the trends of new and recurrent sports-related concussions in high-school athletes before and after youth sports traumatic brain injury laws. Methods. We used an interrupted time-series design and analyzed the concussion data (2005–2016) from High School Reporting Injury Online. We examined the trends of new or recurrent concussion rates among US representative high-school athletes participating in 9 sports across prelaw, immediate-postlaw, and postlaw periods by using general linear models. We defined 1 athlete exposure as attending 1 competition or practice. Results. We included a total of 8043 reported concussions (88.7% new, 11.3% recurrent). The average annual concussion rate was 39.8 per 100 000 athlete exposures. We observed significantly increased trends of reported new and recurrent concussions from the prelaw, through immediate-postlaw, into the postlaw period. However, the recurrent concussion rate showed a significant decline 2.6 years after the laws went into effect. Football exhibited different trends compared with other boys’ sports and girls’ sports. Conclusions. Observed trends of increased concussion rates are likely attributable to increased identification and reporting. Additional research is needed to evaluate intended long-term impact of traumatic brain injury laws.
    • Reducing Traumatic Brain Injuries in Youth Sports: Youth Sports Traumatic Brain Injury State Laws, January 2009–December 2012

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2013-07)
      Objectives. I sought to describe current state-wide youth sports traumatic brain injury (TBI) laws and their relationship to prevailing scientific understandings of youth sports TBIs, and to facilitate further research by creating an open-source data set of current laws. Methods. I used Westlaw and LexisNexis databases to create a 50-state data set of youth sports TBI laws enacted between January 2009 and December 2012. I collected and coded the text and citations of each law and developed a protocol and codebook to facilitate future research. Results. Forty-four states and Washington, DC, passed youth sports TBI laws between 2009 and 2012. No state’s youth sports TBI law focuses on primary prevention. Instead, such laws focus on (1) increasing coaches’ and parents’ ability to identify and respond to TBIs and (2) reducing the immediate risk of multiple TBIs. Conclusions. Existing youth sports TBI laws were not designed to reduce initial TBIs. Evaluation is required to assess their effectiveness in reducing the risk and consequences of multiple TBIs. Continued research and evaluation of existing laws will be needed to develop a more comprehensive youth TBI-reduction solution.