A Comparison of the Diagnostic Utility of the SCAT and ImPACT Assessment Systems in Sports Concussion

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2006 May;

12(s1):220-221.

Fazio, V., J. Pardini, M. R. Lovell and M. W. Collins.

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Abstract:

Objective: The 1st International Symposium on Concussion in Sports in Vienna, Austria detailed a “comprehensive systematic approach to concussion injury” which included neuropsychological testing as a key component of the evaluation process (Aubry et al., 2001). The Concussion in Sports group (CIS) identified neuropsychological testing as “one of the cornerstones of concussion evaluation” (Aubry et al.,2001, p. 8). The most recent CIS conference in Prague in 2004 proposed a new classification system and a new brief, measurement tool for acute assessment of concussion (the SCAT). Neuropsychological testing was recommended for use only if the athlete demonstrated impairment on sideline assessment. This study is designed to examine the utility of the SCAT by comparing its diagnostic accuracy to a validated computer-based neuropsychological battery and commonly used neuropsychological measure. Participants and Methods : Data from 50 acutely concussed high school athletes will be analyzed during the 2005 football season utilizing descriptive statistics. Specifically, the correlation between the SCAT, Symbol Digits Modalities, and the ImPACT computer based test were examined Results : On SCAT evaluation all athletes had negative neurological exams and adequate memory performance. On average concussed athletes recalled 4.9/5 immediate recall words (m=4.91), 3.73/5 (m=3.73) delayed recall words, and scored 5/8 on digits backward (m=5.00). In comparison, impairment was evident on specific measures of neuropsychological functioning (SMDT, ImPACT). Conclusions : Preliminary data demonstrate a significant “value added” of neuropsychological testing, relative to brief sideline procedures such as the SCAT. Traditional neurocognitive testing is warranted for better assessment of injury severity, as well as careful management of concussion.

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