- More than 17,000 members of the public complete concussion education in 2015
- 250,000 members of the rugby community have received face to face education
- RWC 2015 features mandatory education of players, coaches and medics
- Interactive #RecogniseAndRemove concussion App launched in October 2015
World Rugby's Recognise and Remove online concussion education modules were completed by more than 17,000 members of the public and medics in 2015, according to latest figures.
Completions of the interactive concussion education module at www.playerwelfare.worldrugby.org, which is available in 11 languages, included 6,489 members of the public, 1,648 completions by non-rugby doctors, 1,625 completions by match-day doctors and 930 completions by elite team medical staff. An additional 660 people completed the concussion component within the World Rugby immediate care in rugby course, 4,158 people completed concussion education within the World Rugby online first aid course and 1,800 people downloaded World Rugby's concussion education App, underscoring rugby's commitment to change concussion culture.
Additionally, all players, coaches and medics participating at Rugby World Cup 2015 undertook mandatory concussion education, while, in a first for a major sporting event, all team and independent doctors had to undertake a dedicated course in concussion management, promoting the highest standards of player care at the sport's showcase event.
The fully-interactive online module involves symptom education, practical scenarios and video, with each successful completion resulting in a certificate. The public guidance component was developed in 2014 by World Rugby's independent concussion advisory experts Prof. Willie Stewart (clinical neuroscientist, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Glasgow University), Prof. Caroline Finch (injury prevention researcher, Federation University Australia), Prof. Bob Cantu (neurosurgeon, Boston University), and Dr Jon Patricios (sports physician, South Africa) in conjunction with World Rugby's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Martin Raftery. The content of this public guidance has been adopted by other sports and is also operational across Scotland as part of a cross-sports approach to education.
The online programme is a key strategy of World Rugby's holistic approach to concussion awareness and education, which also includes mandatory face-to-face education and training for players, coaches, team management and team doctors, guidance for general public and educational posters in multiple languages and the social media-driven #RecogniseAndRemove educational video featuring stars of men's and women's rugby.
Concussion education is also included as mandatory modules within World Rugby's Rugby Ready programme, which has been rolled out to almost 250,000 members of the rugby family globally since its launch.
World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "Concussion education, prevention, management and research sits at the heart of World Rugby's player welfare strategies aimed at protecting players at all levels of the sport."
"We continue to drive cultural change in our sport and working in full collaboration with leading independent experts and our unions we are educating the symptoms of concussion, highlighting the dangers of ignoring the symptoms and encouraging all to recognise and remove."
World Rugby continues to prioritise concussion within its player welfare strategies and has commissioned independent research into the long-term effects of concussion in rugby as well as continuing to evaluate the head injury assessment protocol, which is successfully protecting elite players and significantly reducing the risk of concussed players being left on the field of play.
World Rugby Chief Medical Officer Martin Raftery added: "While education underpins all that we do in the important area of concussion, we are committed to delivering an evidence-based approach to concussion prevention and management, consulting with leading independent concussion experts."
"For us, 2015 was significant with the implementation of ground-breaking tournament player welfare standards at Rugby World Cup 2015 that proved successful in standardising and promoting the highest level of support for players in terms of concussion prevention and management and are now being rolled out across other major events."
"Key components included all team and independent medical staff completing mandatory concussion education modules, the introduction of the CSx HIA software for all teams, the availability of Independent Concussion Consultants for all teams and the introduction of Hawk-Eye technology for injury identification and analysis."
"These additional intervention supported World Rugby's unique pitch-side Head Injury Assessment (HIA) process in delivering the highest level of player protection and support. World Rugby is committed to rolling out these Rugby World Cup programmes across its tournaments and other major rugby events."
For further information on World Rugby's concussion education programmes and public guidance, visit www.playerwelfare.worldrugby.org and to download the #RecogniseAndRemove concussion education app from the IOS store https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/world-rugby-concussion-management/id1031517215?mt=8.