Mark Ella (57)
The issue McIntosh found was that the players simply stopped using the modified headgear - it was too hot/uncomfortable. It meant getting a statistically significant result was difficult as the n was too lowBut there has already been a 2 year trial using headgear with increased foam padding and the evidence was that it had no impact on concussion.
McIntosh performed a randomized controlled trial of rugby players in Australia with modified headgear in the 13- to 20-year-old age groups over a 2-year period. Comparison was made with the popular habit of not wearing headgear, standard available International Rugby Board headgear, and a new experimental headgear with added foam density. The intention-to-treat analysis showed no difference in the rates of head injury or concussion between controls and headgear arms. The final conclusion is that the board could not recommend modified headgear for reduction of concussions.
Also worth noting that even the modified headgear couldn't reduce enough energy under testing to attenuate the head impact forces experienced by players on the field.
However - from the study
Players wearing the modified headgear had the lowest rate of head injury
resulting in a missed game. The incidence rate ratio for concussion for
modified headgear wearers was 0.43 compared to no headgear (reference) and
IRB headgear 1.1. This suggests that the severity of the head injury or
concussion was reduced for modified headgear wearers compared to players
either wearing IRB approved headgear or no headgear.
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