TableĀ 1

Themes and subthemes identified in community Australian Football player views on the advantages/disadvantages of the concussion guidelines (n=18)

Major themesSubthemes
Advantages of following the concussion guidelines
  • Highlights the seriousness of concussion

  • Changes the culture around playing with concussion, putting player welfare first

  • Provides a consistent approach to diagnosing and managing concussion

  • Reduces the pressure on players to return to play and shifts the decision-making responsibility away from players

  • Reduces the pressure that players place on each other to return to play

  • Instils a sense of responsibility in coaches and officials

Disadvantages of following the concussion guidelines
  • Players removed from play unnecessarily (false positives)

  • Difficulty determining the presence/absence of symptoms, particularly in relation to the memory questions and non-specific symptoms

  • Player frustration over the time it takes to diagnose and to return to play following a concussion

  • Removal of player's right to decide whether or not they are fit to play

  • Players changing the way they play to avoid being removed from play