Office for Sport Concussion Research
The University of Arkansas Office for Sport Concussion Research was established in 2014 with the mission of improving, through education, research, and outreach initiatives, the standard of care for athletes with sport-related concussion. Under the direction of Dr. R.J. Elbin, Assistant Professor in the Exercise Science program, the Office for Sport Concussion Research is establishing strategic partnerships with local/regional youth sports organizations, high schools, and other academic and medical institutions across the state of Arkansas as well as throughout the country.
Mission: Improve the standard of care for athletes with sport-related concussion through research and education. The office pursues its mission through three emphases:
• The U of A Sport Concussion Surveillance Program: The focus of this research initiative is to gather prospective data from high school and college athletes in the Northwest Arkansas region that sustain a concussion. This program is designed to prospectively study and monitor concussion recovery outcomes (e.g., cognitive, physical, psychosocial) using available concussion assessment and management tools. These data will improve the understanding of the natural course of recovery from concussion and help identify athletes who may be at risk for prolonged recovery following concussion.
• The U of A Sport Concussion Awareness Initiative: The U of A Sport Concussion Awareness Initiative is an educational/outreach program designed to improve knowledge on the signs and symptoms of concussion in youth sport athletes, coaches, parents, and officials/referees. Particular focus is on enhancing awareness and access to clinical care among communities of underrepresented populations including rural, urban, and other underserved groups. Researchers and clinicians are currently working with youth sport organization leaders to examine current concussion policies and assist with making appropriate revisions that align with recommended standards. In addition, the researchers are working alongside clinicians with expertise in providing care for concussion to develop educational materials on sport-related concussion (i.e., identifying signs/symptoms, management approaches, communication) using a variety of mediums (e.g., lecture, video, handouts).
• The Sport Concussion Scientific and Clinical Advisory Committee: The Office for Sport Concussion Research has established a scientific and clinical advisory committee that is comprised of research and clinical experts affiliated with University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH). The purpose of this committee is to strengthen collaborations among academic and medical institutions as well as inform clinical research efforts to advance the standard of care for athletes with concussion.