Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Human Performance


Exercise Science (MS)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Marguerite Moore Ph.D


Sport-related concussions (SRC) occur at alarming rates among high school athletes (ages 13-18), which made the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies classify it as an “epidemic”. If improperly managed, physical, mental, and emotional consequences can occur for SRC patients. Due to these consequences all 50 states in the US have passed legislation requiring medical release from a practitioner before a student-athlete can return to athletics following an SRC, yet there is no universally accepted consensus on how to medically manage this common injury. A 22-item, validated survey was distributed to Michigan practitioners who sign off on SRC. The purpose of this study was to compare the management of SRC between urban and rural practitioners in the following critical areas: 1) practitioner demographics in urban and rural settings, 2) return-to-learn and return-to-play protocols used by practitioners, 3) sport-related concussion diagnostic tools used by practitioners, 4) the working relationship between practitioners and athletic trainers in the secondary school setting, and 5) practitioner’s knowledge of the Michigan Sports Concussion Law. A total of 20 participants were included in this research (8 urban, 12 rural). One significant finding of this study was that rural practitioners rely very heavily on the results and recommendations of the ImPACT Application, p = 0.040, compared to their urban counterparts. The information collected in this study can be used to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of current protocols and aid in reforming the current policy surrounding sport-related concussions in the state of Michigan.

Access Type

Open Access