John Breck, DO,  CAQSM Medical Services at University of Colorado, Boulder

More Concussions Occur Off Playing Field Than On Interview with:

John Breck, DO,  CAQSM Medical Services at University of Colorado, Boulder

Dr. Breck

John Breck, DO,  CAQSM
Medical Services at University of Colorado, Boulder What is the background for this study?

Response: To date, most concussion research has focused on sport-related concussion, though it is known that a substantial number of concussions occur outside of participating in sport.

Focusing solely on sport-related concussion may result in an underestimation of the underlying incidence and prevalence of concussion in the general population and leads to the widely held perception that most concussions are sport-related. An understudied population at risk for concussion are United States undergraduate college students. What are the main findings? 

Response: Our study found that the incidence of concussions among this population was more than two-fold that reported by the WHO in the general population in 2004.  The study also shows that, in this population, significantly more concussions occur off the playing field than on. What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: The study shows how common head injuries are among this population and that concussions are not restricted to the athletic field. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: First thing is to confirm the findings are generalizable.  We need to work with other university health centers around the nation to confirm that they are seeing similar incidence rates of concussion.  Once we know this, we can move on to other topics. Is there anything else you would like to add? 

Response: It is critical that students who suffer a concussion get high quality, evidence-based care as soon as possible so they can return to learning in a safe way with as little disruption in their education as possible.  We have learned that the old school concussion treatment of sitting in a dark room for five days is rarely helpful and often hinders recovery.  


Breck J, Bohr A, Poddar S, McQueen MB, Casault T. Characteristics and Incidence of Concussion Among a US Collegiate Undergraduate Population. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(12):e1917626. doi:


Last Modified: Dec 18, 2019 @ 8:04 pm


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