An Introduction to Sports Concussion for the Sport Psychology Consultant

Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. 2004 Aug;

16(3):220-235.

Kontos, A., M. W. Collins and S. A. Russo.

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Abstract:

This paper was designed to introduce the sport psychology consultant (SPC) to the relevant practical and theoretical information pertaining to sports concussion. The paper discusses four key areas related to sports concussion: 1) recognition, 2) management, 3) psychological issues following a concussion, and 4) prevention and education. Throughout the paper, the authors emphasize the role of the SPC in each of these four areas. An integrated review of the sport concussion literature and current research and guidelines regarding the definition, pathophysiology, symptoms, neuropsychological testing, and risk factors for concussion is presented. The SPC’s roles in educating and helping athletes deal with post-concussion issues such as the pressure to return to play and fear of reinjury are examined. The authors highlight the need for baseline neuropsychological testing of athletes; and advocate a multidimensional team approach to sport concussion, involving the SPC as a key member of that team.

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