Presentation Title

Effect of Helmets in Reducing the Risk of Concussion in Football: A Systematic Review

Authors' Names

Conor Marlatt

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

Context: While the incidence of concussions is on the rise, it is also well known that a large number of concussions go undiagnosed or unreported. With increasing knowledge and focus on the long-term complications following concussions, greater emphasis has been placed on player safety. One particular area of focus in player safety is equipment, more specifically the football helmet. Significant advancements have been made to helmet design over the last decade with the intention to reduce the risk of concussions. The objective for this study was to determine whether there is a football helmet that the NFL or NCAA are using that effectively reduces the risk of concussions. Methods: A systematic review was conducted using PubMed and SPORTDiscus databases using four different keywords. The keywords used the terms; helmets AND concussions, NFL concussions, helmets reducing concussions, and NFL helmets. 835 articles were then screened for use in the systematic review. After reviewing titles, abstracts, full-text and duplicate removal, five studies were included in the systematic review. Results: The main results of this study are that the VSR-4, Revolution, Revolution Speed Classic, and ION 4D performed the best across multiple measures assessed within the reviewed studies. These tests included linear acceleration, angular acceleration, and a severity index score. The helmets that performed the best had lower severity index scores as well as a smaller linear and angular acceleration. Conclusions: It was found that there are certain helmets that performed better during impact tests which may potentially reduce the risk of concussion for football players at the NFL or NCAA Division-1 levels. With that being said, there are no helmets currently on the market that can completely negate the risk of concussion, and more research is warranted and needs to be done to ensure the safety of the athletes.

Mentor Name

Valerie Moody

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Feb 22nd, 5:00 PM Feb 22nd, 6:00 PM

Effect of Helmets in Reducing the Risk of Concussion in Football: A Systematic Review

UC North Ballroom

Context: While the incidence of concussions is on the rise, it is also well known that a large number of concussions go undiagnosed or unreported. With increasing knowledge and focus on the long-term complications following concussions, greater emphasis has been placed on player safety. One particular area of focus in player safety is equipment, more specifically the football helmet. Significant advancements have been made to helmet design over the last decade with the intention to reduce the risk of concussions. The objective for this study was to determine whether there is a football helmet that the NFL or NCAA are using that effectively reduces the risk of concussions. Methods: A systematic review was conducted using PubMed and SPORTDiscus databases using four different keywords. The keywords used the terms; helmets AND concussions, NFL concussions, helmets reducing concussions, and NFL helmets. 835 articles were then screened for use in the systematic review. After reviewing titles, abstracts, full-text and duplicate removal, five studies were included in the systematic review. Results: The main results of this study are that the VSR-4, Revolution, Revolution Speed Classic, and ION 4D performed the best across multiple measures assessed within the reviewed studies. These tests included linear acceleration, angular acceleration, and a severity index score. The helmets that performed the best had lower severity index scores as well as a smaller linear and angular acceleration. Conclusions: It was found that there are certain helmets that performed better during impact tests which may potentially reduce the risk of concussion for football players at the NFL or NCAA Division-1 levels. With that being said, there are no helmets currently on the market that can completely negate the risk of concussion, and more research is warranted and needs to be done to ensure the safety of the athletes.