Study finds concussion laws making a difference
As we recently reported, diagnosis and treatment for concussion-related injuries in youth athletes have increased dramatically now that all 50 states and the District of Columbia have enacted concussion treatment regulations. Also boosting this increase is a much more heightened awareness due to ongoing media coverage of concussion concerns.
The University of Michigan School of Kinesiology studied insurance data dated 2006 to 2012 of insured 12 to 18-year-olds. The study focused on the effect of concussion laws. The results show that the number of children seeking treatment for concussions increased 92 percent in states with concussion legislation in place and an increase of 75 percent in states without regulation.
The results of the study emphasize how important public education is and that legislation is working. The hope is that increased diagnoses and awareness will have a an impact on sitting athletes out until their injuries are fully healed.
“The fact that we didn’t see inpatient visits and emergency department visits increase in states with the legislation, but we saw office-based procedures go up, suggests that the legislation is having the intended effect on these injuries,” said Teresa Gibson, co-author of the study.
Below are other significant findings from the study:
- Treatment rates in states without concussion laws rose approximately 20 percent every year after 2009. Treatment rates in states with concussion laws increased an additional 13 percent.
- Treated concussion rates in states without legislation increased by 7 percent in 2009-10, 20 percent in 2010-11 and 34 percent in 2011-12..
- In states without legislation, office visits for concussion rose 78 percent by 2012 and an additional 17 percent in states with concussion laws.