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Special Communication
November 11, 2019

Consensus Statement on Sports-Related Concussions in Youth Sports Using a Modified Delphi Approach

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 2Department of Epidemiology, Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 3Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Seattle, Washington
  • 4Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 5Department of Neurological Surgery, The Sports Institute, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Seattle, Washington
  • 6Faculty of Kinesiology and Community Health Sciences and Pediatrics, Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 7Department of Pediatrics, George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC
  • 8Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC
  • 9Children’s National Health System, Washington, DC
  • 10Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 11Department of Pediatrics, Mattel Children’s Hospital and David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California
  • 12Department of Neurosurgery, Mattel Children’s Hospital and David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California
  • 13Department of Neurological Surgery, The Sports Institute, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Seattle, Washington
  • 14Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Orthopedics, and Sports Medicine, The Sports Institute, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Seattle, Washington
  • 15Department of Health and Human Physiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • 16Department of Pediatrics, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
  • 17The Institute for Sports Medicine, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • 18Athletic Training Programs and Research, School of Osteopathic Medicine, A. T. Stills University, Mesa, Arizona
  • 19Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 20Department of Orthopedics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 21Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, Waltham, Massachusetts
  • 22Brain Injury Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 23Department of Health Sciences, Wits Institute for Sport and Health, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 24Waterfall Sports Orthopaedic Surgery, Johannesburg, South Africa
JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174(1):79-85. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.4006
Abstract

Importance  Given the importance of sports-related concussions among youth athletes, the rapid progress of research on this topic over the last decade, and the need to provide further guidance to youth athletes, their families, medical professionals, and athletic personnel and organizations, a panel of experts undertook a modified Delphi consensus process to summarize the current literature and provide recommendations regarding the prevention, assessment, and management of sports-related concussions for young athletes.

Methods  A consensus panel of 11 experts was created to represent a broad spectrum of expertise in youth sports and concussions. The specific questions to be addressed were developed through an iterative process consisting of 3 rounds, and a review of the literature was conducted to identify research studies related to each question. The consensus panel used a modified Delphi process to reach consensus on the conclusions and recommendations for each question.

Results and Conclusions  In 3 Delphi consensus rounds, 7 questions were addressed by the consensus panel of 11 experts, and 26 recommendations for the prevention, assessment, and management of sports-related concussions among young athletes were developed. For many of the questions addressed in this consensus statement, limitations existed in the quantity and quality of the evidence available to develop specific recommendations for youth sports stakeholders.

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