Date of Award

January 2016

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Marney A. White

Second Advisor

Kelly Cosgrove


Prior to the 2015 season, the National Football League reported that regular season in-game concussions had fallen 35% from 2012 to 2014. However, the number of concussions suffered during the 2015 regular season increased to 182, the highest total since the league implemented a standardized protocol for diagnosing and treating concussions after the 2011 season. To determine whether this large increase likely represented an increase in actual incidence or simply an increase in diagnosed injuries, survival analysis was used to compare the risk of injury between the 2014 and 2015 seasons. To show that the risk environment of the game did not differ significantly between the seasons, the total plays and points scored per team as well as overall yards per play were tested across the seasons. To test the risk of injury by a metric other than concussions, knee injury totals were compared to see if those numbers differed between the seasons. For the primary analysis of concussions, no significant difference in the survivor function was detected (χ2 = 0.08; p = 0.774).


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access