Winterstein to study best ways to alter concussion attitudes, behaviors

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Winterstein to study best ways to alter concussion attitudes, behaviors

A multidisciplinary team of UW–Madison researchers — led by the Department of Kinesiology’s Andrew Winterstein and School of Human Ecology’s Dee Warmath — received funding from the NCAA and U.S. Department of Defense in February to study the most effective ways to teach athletes and young adults about the importance of reporting when they have suffered a concussion.

The initiative will evaluate the effectiveness of three different interventions with a largely untapped population: the roughly 2,500 young adults who play competitive club sports on the UW–Madison campus.

Andrew Winterstein
The research project is titled, “Making it Stick: A Social Marketing Experiment to Alter Concussion Attitudes and Behavior.” The project will address three challenges in existing efforts to improve concussion reporting:

• Can symptom-focused education be redesigned to encourage greater processing of the information?

• Does a focus on avoiding consequences — or realizing benefits — have a greater impact on reporting than symptom-focused efforts?

• Does social context matter and, if so, how so?

“This study will provide insight into the incidence of reported and unreported sports-related concussions and the attitudes, knowledge and behaviors for these at-risk young adults,” says Winterstein, who heads the Department of Kinesiology’s athletic training program.

Meanwhile, in June Winterstein received one of the National Athletic Trainers Association’s top honors — being named a Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer.

“He is passionate about athletic training and truly cares about every facet of our profession,” Department of Kinesiology colleague David Bell says of Winterstein. “He is viewed beyond our borders as an expert and leader in our field. Wisconsin is lucky to have him on our campus.”

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