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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine Michigan High School ice hockey players’ attitudes regarding the use of mouthguards and to determine the effects of mouthguard type, player position, education, and usage time with respect to attitudes. Methods: A questionnaire measuring players’ attitudes toward mouthguards was sent to six member institutions of the Michigan State High School Athletic Association (MSHSAA) located in Southwest Michigan. Out of a total of 128 players listed on the rosters of the MSHSAA, 119 (93%) players returned the surveys, with 117 surveys used in the analyses (91%).Results: Approximately 25.6% of players reported wearing mouthguards 50% of the time or greater during practices and 80.3% wearing mouthguards 50% of the time or greater during games. Seventy-two percent of the subjects had never received educational information regarding mouthguards. A 2x2x3 ANOVA revealed no significant effect between player position, previous mouthguard education, and mouthguard type with respect to mouthguard attitudes. Independent t-tests revealed players wearing mouthguards greater than 50% of the time during practice and games had more positive attitudes toward mouthguards than those who wore mouthguards less than 50% of the time. Conclusion: No one specific factor affecting attitudes of mouthguard use was identified; however, the majority of the players had no previous education on mouthguard usage. Our results show a need for more educational interventional programs by healthcare providers, dentists, and coaches.

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