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University of the Witwatersrand: Review of concussion in sport research underway

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The Scientific Committee for the 6th International Conference on Concussion in Sport (Amsterdam 27-30 October 2022) is tasked with reviewing the most up-to-date scientific literature on sport-related concussion and updating recommendations. This review will be followed by the release of a summary consensus statement on concussion in sport.

“The output of the consensus process and conference will be the 6th International Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport that will provide a summary of the current state of the literature in concussion at the time of the meeting that can be used by clinicians world-wide in the prevention, detection and management of sport-related concussion,” says Dr Kathryn Schneider, PT PhD, Associate Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, University of Calgary.

A team of over 100 scientists and clinicians from around the globe are working together completing ten systematic reviews on previously identified key questions related to concussion. These will inform the consensus statement and the next generation of sports concussion assessment tools. The conference is sponsored by international sports organisations, but they have no input onto the scientific content or conference outputs. The consensus statement will be published in April 2023.

“The Scientific Committee has worked hard at being inclusive, transparent, and following a robust scientific process. The scientific material presented is not yet published and thus not yet ready to be shared but we look forward to the outputs being accessible to all,” says Professor Jon Patricios, FFSEM(UK), Professor of Sport and Exercise Medicine, Sports and Exercise Medicine Physician, Director of Wits Sport & Health (WiSH), Faculty of Health Science, Wits University, South Africa

The Scientific Committee is following an evidence-based scientific and consensus-building process to inform their work:

The process has been established through current best practices developed by the British Journal of Sports. Medicine (BJSM Author Guidelines for Consensus Statements)
Ten systematic reviews have been drafted to inform the meeting. The Scientific Committee has engaged over 100 leading scientists and clinicians in the field of concussion who are working together to prepare these reviews.
Each of the systematic reviews will be presented at the 6th International Conference on Concussion in Sport meeting and followed by a panel discussion and question and answer period with members of the audience. The following two-day conference, an expert panel will convene to discuss and review the evidence, refine, and vote on key messages.
The 6th Consensus Conference was originally planned to occur in Paris in October of 2020 but was subsequently postponed to October 2021 and a second time due to the pandemic. Thus, the systematic review process has been taking place over the past 3 ½ years. The last consensus statement (Berlin consensus) was released in 2017 following the 5th International Conference on Concussion in Sport.
The consensus statement is expected to be published in the spring of 2023 and will form the basis of recommendations to inform practice.