Returning to Play after Concussion: A Phenomenological Study
Da Costa, Kathleen
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This study examines and describes athletes’ felt sense of readiness returning to play following a concussion. Analyses of the interviews yielded a description of each participant’s experiences with concussions. Descriptions of this phenomenon generated by informants provide a detailed account of the unique issues athletes face when returning to play following a concussion. Participants’ descriptions highlight that in order to play, an athlete knows that he/she ought to be emotionally and physically ready to play. However, the athletes in this study believe that there is not an actual test that can “prove” this and that they can choose to lie and/or cheat the tests to return to play while they are still symptomatic. Athletes, parents, coaches, and trainers will benefit from learning to be better educated on the severity of concussions, concussion detection, assessment and the serious health consequences that can result from playing with a concussion.