Stanford-Harvard Study Shows Student Athletes Increased Intent to Report Concussions After TeachAids CrashCourse Education

June 10, 2021
PALO ALTO, Calif. —

A research team led by scientists from Harvard and Stanford found that more athletes stated that they would report a concussion after participating in the CrashCourse concussion education program by TeachAids.

Stanford, California (June 7, 2021) A recent study of 173 male high school football players published in INQUIRY: the Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision and Financing, found that athletes were significantly more likely to say that they would report a concussion, and have more confidence in their concussion knowledge, after they experienced CrashCourse concussion education by TeachAids. Researchers also found that athletes who previously did not enjoy concussion education had the greatest gains in intent to report concussion. Athletes completed these assessments before and after participating in CrashCourse.

“Athletes who didn’t like their previous concussion education programs improved the most after CrashCourse. These athletes may be more representative of those in the real world, because most athletes receive concussion education as a result of a league or state requirement,” said lead author Daniel Daneshvar, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Director of TeachAids’ Institute for Brain Research and Innovation. “The athletes who didn’t like previous concussion education enjoyed CrashCourse and improved the most.”

"The results from this study are exciting! Having worked in this field for decades, we have sorely needed highly effective and engaging concussion education content," says Gerald Grant, MD, Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Stanford University’s Packard Children’s Hospital and Advisor to TeachAids. "It’s inspiring to watch the kids’ faces light up when they interact with the CrashCourse education content and know that they are learning why it’s imperative to report their injuries. With concussions being an invisible injury, we need them to report.”

“Most kids don’t enjoy learning about mandatory safety subjects, like driver’s education. That’s why improving reported behavior, despite not originally liking the topic, is fascinating. While everyone showed improvement, kids who didn’t like concussion education watched CrashCourse and changed their mind about reporting concussions the most. After the education, these originally low-reporting kids actually ended up matching their peers in whether they said they would report a concussion,” says Robert Cantu, Medical Director and Director of Clinical Research, Dr. Robert C. Cantu Concussion Center, Emerson Hospital and Advisor to TeachAids.

The study was led by Dr. Daneshvar, one of the world’s leading researchers on the long-term effects of concussion and repetitive head impacts, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Dr. Daneshvar joined the CrashCourse team in 2017 as a Founding Scientific Advisor, and was part of a team responsible for ensuring the accuracy and efficacy of its education programs. Other authors included Drs. Cantu, Grant, Shelley Goldman (Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and for Student Affairs, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University), Roy D. Pea (David Jacks Professor of Education and the Learning Sciences, Stanford University), Lee M. Sanders (Division Chief of General Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine), and Ross D. Zafonte (Earle P. and Ida S. Charlton Professor and Chair, Harvard Medical School Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Spaulding). The CrashCourse initiative consists of more than 100 domain experts ranging from medicine, education, psychology, sports and communication.

Study funding was provided by Taube Stanford Concussion Collaborative with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.


About TeachAids

TeachAids is an award-winning 501(c)(3) nonprofit social venture that creates breakthrough software addressing numerous persistent problems. Their HIV/AIDS health education has been instituted in 82 countries. Their CoviDB education initiative created a community-edited platform organizing resources across a comprehensive set of topics relating to COVID-19. In partnership with 22 of the US Olympic and Paralympic Committees’ National Governing Bodies, TeachAids has also launched the CrashCourse multi-sport concussion education product suite. These evidence-based applications are available online and in virtual reality. All TeachAids products are available at no cost.

Media Contact for TeachAids

Michelle Kafka
(407) 603-5716, [email protected]