Dec 12, 2018

Take the Equestrian Helmet Use Survey!

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Dr. Koren Ganas of the University of Illinois College of Medicine Department of Health Sciences Education is conducting a brief survey on helmet use in equestrians across a variety of disciplines and wants your feedback! The survey is designed to gather information on riders' attitudes toward wearing helmets.

"As a health researcher and equestrian, I was prompted to do this study after seeing data that horse riding and equestrian sports are the leading cause of sports-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) in adults, published by the National Trauma Databank," said Dr. Ganas. "In fact, equestrian sports accounted for 45.2% of reported TBI, compared to just 20.2% from contact sports like football and soccer."

"While media articles and blogs purport to list reasons riders do not wear helmets, I was not able to find any academic or scholarly inquiry in the US about equestrian’s attitudes toward helmet use, and could only find estimates regarding frequency of helmet use," she continued. "I developed this survey based on similar surveys that have been used in cycling and ski sports – two sports that had great success in increasing helmet use rates and decreasing TBI in the past decade."

"Given the American Medical Equestrian Association (2010) has calculated that American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or Safety Equipment Institute, Inc. (SEI) approved equestrian helmets have reduced all riding-related head injuries by 30% and severe head injuries by 50%; I hope to use the data gathered to understand rates of helmet use and develop interventions to lower the rates of TBI in equestrians."

To assist Dr. Ganas in her research, click here to take the survey.

Any questions about the survey should be directed to Dr. Ganas at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at [email protected].

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