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2016 Concussion Awareness in the General Public Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

The purpose of this health indicator report is to provide information on concussions knowledge and awareness among adults aged 18 and over living in Halton Region

Background

A concussion is a brain injury caused by a bump or a blow to the head, face or neck, or somewhere else on the body that causes a sudden jarring of the head. A person does not need to lose consciousness to have a concussion. A concussion can cause symptoms that can be physical (e.g. headache, dizziness), cognitive (e.g. difficulty in concentrating or remembering), emotional/behavioural (e.g. depression, irritability), and/or related to sleep (e.g. drowsiness, difficulty in falling asleep).

If you think you may have a concussion, it is important to stop the activity you are doing immediately. Anyone with a suspected concussion should be seen by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner who can provide a comprehensive medical assessment and concussion diagnosis. The most important treatment for a concussion is rest, both mental and physical. A child or teen diagnosed with a concussion should follow a medically supervised, individualized, and gradual Return to Learn/Return to Play plan to help them return to normal activities. For more information on concussions, visit Halton Region’s Concussions - Information for Parents webpage, or see Parachute’s Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport.

This health indicator report uses data from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS).

Key Findings

Overall Findings

  • In 2016, 95% of Halton adults agreed that a concussion is a type of brain injury, 4% disagreed, and 2% did not know. 

Sex

  • In 2016, there was no statistically significant difference by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who agreed that a concussion is a type of brain injury. 

Age

  • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by age in the percentage of Halton adults who agreed that a concussion is a type of brain injury. 

Municipality

  • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who agreed that a concussion is a type of brain injury. 

Income

  • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton adults who agreed that a concussion is a type of brain injury. 

Education

  • In 2016, there was no statistically significant difference by education in the percentage of Halton adults who agreed that a concussion is a type of brain injury. 

 

Knowledge that Concussions can Occur Without Losing Consciousness

Overall Findings

  • In 2016, 87% of Halton adults disagreed that a person has to lose consciousness to have a concussion, 12% agreed, and 2% did not know.

Sex

  • In 2016, there was no statistically significant difference by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who were aware that a person does not need to lose consciousness to have a concussion.

Age

  • In 2016, adults aged 65+ were less likely than all other age groups to know that a person does not need to lose consciousness to have a concussion. This difference was statistically significant when comparing adults aged 65+ to adults aged 45-64.

Municipality

  • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who were aware that a person does not need to lose consciousness to have a concussion.

Income

  • In 2016, the percentage of Halton adults who were aware that a person does not need to lose consciousness to have a concussion increased as income increased. These differences were statistically significant when comparing all income groups to one another.

Education

  • In 2016, Halton adults who were post-secondary graduates were more likely than those who were not post secondary graduates to know that a person does not need to lose consciousness to have a concussion. This difference was statistically significant.

Awareness of the Signs and Symptoms of Concussion

In 2016, Halton adults correctly identified the following symptoms of a concussion:

  • 50% identified feeling light headed or dizzy
  • 40% identified headache
  • 30% identified nausea or vomiting
  • 30% identified confusion or disorientation
  • 25% identified vision loss or blurred vision
  • 13% identified feeling sleepy or tired
  • 10% identified passing out or losing consciousness
  • 8% identified speech problems or slurred speech
  • 6% identified difficulty concentrating
  • 5% identified light sensitivity
  • 1% identified irritability
  • 1% identified experiencing trouble falling asleep 

Knowledge of the Most Appropriate Time to See a Doctor

Overall Findings

  • In 2016, 97% of Halton adults were aware that they should see a doctor as soon as possible if they think they have a concussion, 2% thought that they should see a doctor if symptoms got worse, and 1% didn't know when to see a doctor.

Sex

  • In 2016, there was no statistically significant difference by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who were aware that they should see a doctor as soon as possible if they think they have a concussion.

Age

  • In 2016, Halton adults aged 45-64 were more likely than adults aged 18-24 to be aware that they should see a doctor as soon as possible if they think they have a concussion. This difference was statistically significant. 

Municipality

  • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who were aware that they should see a doctor as soon as possible if they think they have a concussion.

Income

  • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton adults who were aware that they should see a doctor as soon as possible if they think they have a concussion.

Education

  • In 2016, there was no statistically significant difference by education in the percentage of Halton adults who were aware that they should see a doctor as soon as possible if they think they have a concussion.

 

Knowledge that Sports Equipment Does Not Prevent Concussions

Overall Findings

  • In 2016, 39% of Halton adults were aware that sports equipment, such as a helmet or mouth guard, does not prevent concussions, 45% thought that sports equipment does prevent concussions, 13% believed that it depends, and 3% did not know.

Sex

  • In 2016, there was no statistically significant difference by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who were aware that sports equipment does not prevent concussions.

Age

  • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by age in the percentage of Halton adults who were aware that sports equipment does not prevent concussions.

Municipality

  • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who were aware that sports equipment does not prevent concussions.

Income

  • In 2016, the percentage of Halton adults who were aware that sports equipment does not prevent concussions increased as income increased. This difference was statistically significant when comparing those in the high income group to those in the low income group.

Education

  • In 2016, there was no statistically significant difference by education in the percentage of Halton adults who were aware that sports equipment does not prevent concussions.