USA Baseball and TeachAids Unite to Provide Concussion EducationVisit
CrashCourse educates young people on the prevention and treatment of concussions.
We work with our stakeholders to identify global health challenges to determine if they can be addressed through targeted health education.
“Concussion is the No. 1 problem for sports throughout the world” (Sydney Morning Herald, Dec 21st 2020).
As the number of concussions steadily increases so does national attention on the need for effective prevention and treatment. An estimated 2.5M concussions occur each year in the United States alone. It’s an all too common sports injury, yet it’s surrounded by myths and misconceptions. Much is still unknown about the human brain, even with the latest medical technology. While science is evolving, concussions remain, in large part, a mystery.
Three out of five high school athletes don’t report their concussions. Young people are often unaware that they have a concussion or are afraid to speak-up. Like many challenging health topics, concussions have also become stigmatized as many athletes opt to play through the symptoms, not fully understanding the consequences. With better prevention, education, and evolving treatment protocols, together we can support athletes to best navigate through social, structural, and political pressures in order to elevate their performance.
We seek to understand the socioeconomic, medical, and cultural influences impacting the problem.
We aimed to understand the reasons why youth were not reporting concussions and the role education could play to shift this perspective. Our approach began with conducting thousands of hours of interviews across more than 600 stakeholders, including coaches, parents, teachers, and athletes. With the target of understanding the culture around sports injuries, our reach was broad and deep – ranging from interviews with local high school athletes to Team USA Olympians.
We discovered that concussions were at the center of many competing challenges. First, although there were ample materials available for parents, coaches, athletic trainers, and medical professionals, there was a dearth of customized research-based education for athletes. This was problematic because most decisions to report concussions were ultimately in the hands of the injured athletes and their teammates.
Second, rapidly evolving science meant existing materials were often incorrect or outdated. For instance, medical experts shared countless stories of parents administering treatment plans based on misconceptions (e.g., concussions only occur from direct hits to the head, concussions are more serious if there is a loss of consciousness, athletes with concussions should be confined in a dark room).
Third, the increasing prevalence of concussions among youth was coupled with an abundance of media attention shedding light on the issue. However, constraints with time and space through news outlets made it difficult for concerned individuals to understand the full picture. People often came away with, and made decisions based on, fragmented knowledge.
We identify solutions that will resonate and thrive in complex and diverse communities.
Over the past few years, we have collaborated with hundreds of academics, researchers, and physicians nationwide, and beyond, to understand how best to design and develop the most impactful concussion education available. In addition, we turned our attention to the target audience: young people. Over the past several years, we worked with hundreds of youth spanning middle school through college. The sessions were conducted formally via four classes offered through Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education and the School of Medicine. Through numerous human-centered design activities and hundreds of iterations on the storyboard, college-aged students and youth offered valuable insights to guide leading experts to build the most engaging curricula possible.
With the vision of producing the most effective and compelling concussion education, TeachAids established the Institute for Brain Research and Innovation. Using qualitative and quantitative research methods, the vision of this Institute is to understand how best to promote knowledge relating to concussion symptoms, the understanding of their severity, and the critical importance of timely reporting. The goal of this research is to help develop education-based interventions and evaluate their efficacy to promote positive outcomes.
The Director of this Institute is Dr. Daniel Daneshvar M.D., Ph.D., a world-renowned researcher on the long-term effects of moderate-severe traumatic brain injury, concussion, and repetitive head impacts, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and Faculty at Harvard Medical School.
Below is the first published peer-reviewed article with several others in the pipeline.
Daneshvar DH, Yutsis M, Baugh CM, Pea RD, Goldman S, Grant GA, Ghajar J, Sanders LM, Chen CL, Tenekedjieva LT, Gurrapu S, Zafonte RD, Sorcar P. Evaluating the Effect of Concussion Education Programs on Intent to Report Concussion in High School Football. J Athl Train. 2021 Jan 6. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33428746
Note: In order to demonstrate the impact of concussions, this curriculum uses scenes from a football game. We will be releasing a V2 of this curriculum which integrates a variety of sports scenes into the production. We are working with 19 of the US Olympic Committee’s sports’ governing bodies on the development of this.
This product was presented in collaboration with the Brain Injury Association of America as well as the US Olympic and Paralympic’s National Sports Governing Bodies including: USA Archery, USA Artistic Swimming, USA Baseball, USA Bobsled & Skeleton, USA Cycling, USA Diving, USA Fencing, USA Field Hockey, USA Football, USA Gymnastics, USA Hockey, US Lacrosse, US Ski & Snowboard, US Speedskating, USA Taekwondo, USA Triathlon and USA Wrestling.
With the seriousness of head injuries, every state now has a law related to concussions. To meet this need and protect our young people, we’ve made our education available to all at no cost. Visit our CrashCourse product page to learn more.
We secure strategic partnerships with prominent national and community partners.
With sports being at the intersection of many complementary disciplines, we are building a coalition to engage the most powerful influencers across the world. Together we aim to provide this robust education to youth globally. From policy makers, medical institutions, foundations, and media outlets to schools and sports organizations, we are joining forces to provide much needed comprehensive education to those who need it most, for free. We have built collaborations with Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Brain Injury Association of America, and representatives of many leading universities throughout the country (Stanford University, Harvard University, MIT, UCSF, etc.).
Amongst our United States Olympic and Paralympics Committee partners are: USA Archery, USA Artistic Swimming, USA Baseball, USA Bobsled & Skeleton, USA Cycling, USA Diving, USA Fencing, USA Field Hockey, USA Football, USA Gymnastics, USA Hockey, USA Karate, US Lacrosse, US Ski & Snowboard, US Soccer, US Speedskating, USA Taekwondo, USA Triathlon and USA Wrestling.
To ensure the creation of medically accurate, unbiased, and trusted materials, TeachAids only accepts funding from entities with no conflicting interests.
Our mission is to provide access to our lifesaving health education to as many people as possible.
The CrashCourse education content has been shared by many organizations throughout the United States and Canada to educate diverse populations. Below is a list of such organizations (in alphabetical order):
All our products are under a Creative Commons License and available free of cost.