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Table 5 Strengths of Popular Opinion Leader (POL) Intervention and applicability to youth sport setting

From: Using opinion leaders to address intervention gaps in concussion prevention in youth sports: key concepts and foundational theory

Strength As applied to youth sport setting
Community-level reductions in HIV-related risk behaviors (Kelly et al. 1991) May lead to a preventive sport culture that mitigates negative norms and beliefs that may increase concussion risk in athletes
Used in settings of varying socio-economic statuses, race/ethnicity, and urbanicity (Kelly et al. 1991; NIMH Collaborative HIV/STD Prevention Trial Group 2010; Somerville et al. 2006; Kelly et al. 1997; Sikkema et al. 2000; Latkin 1998) Formative research is an essential aspect of POL intervention to ensure that it can be an effective means by which sport safety culture changes can occur in multiple youth sport settings
Provides education and dispels myths and misconceptions (Kelly 2004) Intervention includes: education about the incidence, diagnosis, management, and prevention of concussion; and the promotion of safer game play
Concurrently considers individual, interpersonal, and environmental levels of influence (Kelly et al. 1991) Training athletes, coaches, and parents to disseminate knowledge across multiple youth sport stakeholders and change cultural norms within all stakeholder-specific networks
Personal endorsements from influential community members regarding risk reduction behaviors (Kelly et al. 1991) Can advance community-level knowledge of primary, secondary, and tertiary concussion prevention strategies, while correcting related myths and misconceptions
Dissemination framework of nine core elements (Kelly 2004) Formative research and fidelity measures assess compliance with core elements and identify implementation factors specific to youth sports and concussion
Relies on community to disseminate and maintain cultural norm changes (Kelly 2004) Intervention follows core elements to ensure a sufficient number of appropriate opinion leaders are identified and recruited