Research Spotlight: Trish Kelshaw

The Effect of Headgear Use on Concussion Injury Rates in High School Lacrosse
lacrosse helmet

Trish Kelshaw is an assistant professor of Kinesiology. 

Please describe your research in nontechnical language.
We conducted a large national study on high school girls' lacrosse, to compare the rates of concussion among states that mandate headgear (i.e., Florida) versus states that do not.

Why is this research important? 
This is a national landmark study that may move the needle on safety standards in girls'/ women's lacrosse.

What are the most interesting research findings from your work so far?
These findings indicate that concussion rates among high school girls' lacrosse players not wearing headgear were 59% higher than those wearing headgear. These data support the use of protective headgear to reduce the risk of concussion among high school female lacrosse athletes.

Where does this fit into a larger area of research?
My research endeavors to promote prevention and management strategies for concussion in sport, with the ultimate goal to promote safety. This particular work will enable stakeholders, including parents, coaches and athletes, to make an evidence-based choice on whether or not to use headgear while playing lacrosse. As such, this work could be informative to local organizations' safety policy choices.

How did graduate and undergraduate students contribute to your research?
Undergraduate and graduate students from each institution involved have been exposed to different elements of this work including data collection and presentation opportunities.

Are there funding sources and/or collaborators you would like to acknowledge?
USA Lacrosse, and the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE)

The pre-print study can be viewed here. The study was recently featured in the New York Times and that article can be viewed here.