Two UNC-Greensboro concussion specialists won a $400,000 grant last month from the NCAA and the U.S. Department of Defense to design a web-based tool geared toward increasing concussion reporting among student athletes.
Staff writer Sam Killenberg spoke with project co-founder Jeff Milroy about how to change attitudes surrounding reporting concussions.
The Daily Tar Heel: How frequently do concussions go unreported in collegiate athletics, and what are the reasons for that?
Jeff Milroy: There are reports that anywhere between 50 and 80 percent of concussions are going unreported ... The big question that we’re asking is why ... It comes down to a lot of the perception that the student athlete ... (is) going to lose their position on the team, or the starting lineup, or the perception that they have that they might let down a teammate. There also could potentially be some masculinity issues, especially for male student athletes and the idea of toughness ... that you’re supposed to be tough, you’re supposed to play through it. It kind of starts to victim-blame a little bit.
DTH: Can you explain your project and how it will attack the stigma with regards to the reporting of concussions?