Neurology Central

Concussion and the media: the importance of reporting

It has never been more important to keep the public fully informed about sport-related concussions and their consequences. Although articles are posted regularly on concussion-related incidents, it is vital that the information is accurate and consistent, and the public is not misled.

A 2012 survey in the UK assessing the public’s knowledge of sport-related concussions revealed a poor understanding of concussive injuries, as well as misconceptions surroundings the effects of concussion. The authors of the study said: “The seriousness of sport concussion was clearly underestimated. For example, most participants rejected the idea of increased vulnerability to and likelihood of re-injury following a sport concussion” [1].

Mainstream media and social media platforms play a huge role in influencing public opinion, with Twitter becoming ever more popular as a newsfeed [2]. Now more than ever, the media has a responsibility to accurately report concussions in sport. The lead author of a review examining concussion education, Christine Provvidenza (Parachute, Toronto, Canada), commented that: “The media is valuable in drawing attention to concussion, but efforts need to ensure that the public is aware of the right information. Social media as a concussion education tool is becoming more prominent” [3].

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