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Clinical nurse specialist recognised internationally for concussion research

News from Hutt Valley DHB
Clinical nurse specialist and concussion expert Doug King has been recognised in the top 0.5 percent of experts worldwide on brain concussion and football codes by Expertscape — placing him third internationally for his research.

Doug works as a clinical nurse specialist in Hutt Hospital’s Emergency Department, and has spent over 20 years researching sports-related concussion and head impact biomechanics. His research informs practices and guidelines across New Zealand and internationally.

“Concussion and traumatic brain injury is a silent epidemic — I have spent many years researching the impacts of concussion in sport and understanding how findings can be applied across broader contexts,” said Doug.

“We know that the impact of a head injury is accumulative and that every concussion should be viewed based on an individual’s history and risk factors.”

Doug has recently completed his latest PHD research on injury epidemiology in women’s rugby union in New Zealand, where he found that women take longer to recover from concussion than males, and experience more concussion symptoms over a longer duration.

He found that on average, females took 30 days longer to recover, whereas males recovered sooner—leading to a shift in thinking on recovery time and graduated return to activity.

His findings reinforce previous research undertaken internationally and highlights the need for a change in guidelines, both in sport, and in the wider management and monitoring of concussion.

“While my findings have been obtained through a study of women’s rugby, the results clearly show that we need to change the way we view and treat concussion, across all contexts—particularly for females.

“There needs to be flexibility in the guidelines we use and recognition that no head injury is the same.”

Doug’s latest research can be found here: https://www.jscimedcentral.com/PhysicalMedicine/physicalmedicine-5-1014.pdf

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