Instruments for soccer head impact exposure across multiple time frames.
HeadCount was created and validated to address a specific research need. At the inception of the Einstein Soccer Study, no standardized instruments were available for the estimation of player exposure to heading and other head impacts. With extensive input and guidance from epidemiologist Walter F. Stewart, PhD MPH, we developed a set of structured questionnaires based on feedback from focus groups comprising adult amateur players from the New York City area. The questionnaires were subsequently validated across timeframes and against external observers in multiple independent player groups.
Versions of Head Count have been developed to estimate exposure over 12 months (HeadCount-12m), 2 weeks (HeadCount-2w) and daily (HeadCount-daily). The questionnaires are intended to estimate exposure to heading as well as to other head impacts and concussion as well as characterizing severity of symptoms associated with heading. Importantly, HeadCount is not intended to absolutely quantify the number of impacts sustained and certainly not to identify biomechanical features of individual impacts.
HeadCount-2w and HeadCount 12-m are administered through a web interface accessed from a standard web browser. HeadCount-daily is implemented as part of a customized daily battery that runs on the Android OS intended to be viewed on a Tablet PC. “Paper” versions of the forms are available for download here as PDF, MS Word, and RedCap (.zip archive) documents. Skip logic implemented in the electronic versions is indicated in colored text.
Several references describing the instruments, their validation and use are listed below. If you employ HeadCount in your research, we ask that you please acknowledge and cite its origins.