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Publicly available data sources in sport-related concussion research: a caution for missing data

Researchers often use publicly available data sources to describe injuries occurring in professional athletes, developing and testing hypotheses regarding athletic-related injury. It is reasonable to question whether publicly available data sources accurately indicate ...

Published onFeb 05, 2024
Publicly available data sources in sport-related concussion research: a caution for missing data
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Abstract

Researchers often use publicly available data sources to describe injuries occurring in professional athletes, developing and testing hypotheses regarding athletic-related injury. It is reasonable to question whether publicly available data sources accurately indicate athletic-related injuries resulting from professional sport participation. We compared sport-related concussion (SRC) clinical incidence using data from publicly available sources to a recent publication reporting SRC using electronic health records (EHR) from the National Football League (NFL). We hypothesize publicly available data sources will underrepresent SRC in the NFL. We obtained SRCs reported from two publicly available data sources (NFL.com, pro-football-reference.com) and data reported from the NFL’s published EHR. We computed SRC per 100 unique player signings from 2015–2019 and compared the clinical incidence from publicly available data sources to EHR rates using clinical incidence ratios (CIR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

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