(ISN) – World Rugby’s #RecogniseAndRemove online concussion education modules were completed by almost 13,000 members of the public and doctors across 180 nations in 2014, according to latest figures.
Completions of the interactive concussion education module atwww.playerwelfare.worldrugby.org, which is available in 11 languages, included 7,311 members of the public, 3,534 completions by non-rugby doctors, 1,391 completions by match day doctors and 693 completions by elite team medical staff, underscoring rugby’s commitment to change concussion culture.
The fully-interactive online module involves symptom education, practical scenarios and video, with each successful completion resulting in a certificate.
The public guidance component was overseen by independent experts Prof. Caroline Finch (injury prevention researcher, Federation University Australia), Prof. Bob Cantu (neurosurgeon, Boston University), Dr Willie Stewart (clinical neuroscientist, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Glasgow University) and Dr Jon Patricios (sports physician, South Africa).
The online programme is a key strategy of World Rugby’s holistic approach to concussion awareness and education, which also includes mandatory face-to-face education and training for players, coaches, team management and team doctors, guidance for general public and educational posters in multiple languages and the social media-driven #RecogniseAndRemove educational video featuring stars of men’s and women’s rugby.
Concussion education is also included as mandatory modules within World Rugby’s Rugby Ready programme, which has been rolled out to almost 200,000 members of the rugby family globally.
World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Concussion education, management and research sits at the heart of World Rugby’s player welfare strategies aimed at protecting players at all levels of the sport.
“We are determined to change culture across our sport and working in full collaboration with leading independent experts and our unions we are educating the symptoms of concussion, highlighting the dangers of ignoring the symptoms and encouraging all to recognise and remove.”
World Rugby continues to prioritise concussion within its player welfare strategies and has commissioned independent research into the long-term effects of concussion in rugby as well as continuing to evaluate the head injury assessment protocol, which is successfully protecting elite players and significantly reducing the risk of concussed players being left on the field of play.
World Rugby Chief Medical Officer Martin Raftery added: “While education underpins all that we do in the important area of concussion, we are also introducing compulsory player welfare standards for our flagship Rugby World Cup. At England 2015 all team and independent medical staff must have completed concussion education modules, the level two immediate care in rugby course and adhere to rigid standards of concussion management during the tournament.”