A knock to the system: A new sociotechnical systems approach to sport-related concussion

Amanda Clacy, Natassia Goode, Rachael Sharman, Geoff P. Lovell, Paul M. Salmon

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Broader contextual factors that influence concussion management have tended to be overlooked. To address this, the present study used a sociotechnical systems approach to identify perceived responsibilities and applied strategies for three domains of concussion management (i.e., prevention, identification and treatment). Participants were 118 members of the community rugby union system in Australia (69.2% male). Participants from throughout the rugby system (e.g., players, parents, coaches, club management) were asked open-ended questions about their perceived responsibilities and the strategies they use for concussion management. It was found that (a) proper training, technique correction and education were recurrent prevention themes; (b) the majority of key stakeholders felt that they could consistently identify concussion; however, medical aids (medics) were the only system actors who stated a responsibility to use standardised concussion assessment measures and (c) less than one third of the respondents indicated their involvement in treating concussion. This study identifies specific junctures in the system that prevents effective concussion management strategies. A sociotechnical systems approach improves the understanding of concussion prevention, and management beliefs and behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2232-2239
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Injury & prevention
  • decision making
  • dynamic systems
  • qualitative analysis
  • team sports


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