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Baseline evaluation in youth ice hockey players: comparing methods for documenting prior concussions and attention or learning disorders

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2014 Mar;

44(5):329-335.

McKay, C. D., K. J. Schneider, B. L. Brooks, M. Mrazik and C. A. Emery.

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Abstract:

STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional. OBJECTIVE: To examine differences in concussion history and attention or learning disorders reported by elite youth ice hockey players, using a questionnaire that allows parental input compared to a clinic-based test battery that does not. BACKGROUND: A history of previous concussion and the presence of attention or learning disorders can affect concussion-management decisions; however, youth athletes may not accurately report their medical history because they may not know or recall important details. METHODS: The sample included 714 Bantam (ages 12-14 years) and Midget (ages 15-17 years) ice hockey players (601 male, 113 female) from the most elite divisions of play (AA and AAA). Players completed a take-home preseason questionnaire (PSQ) with the input of a parent/guardian, and also independently completed the baseline Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) at the beginning of the 2011-2012 hockey season. RESULTS: In 21.1% (95% confidence interval: 18.1%, 24.1%) of cases, there was disagreement between the PSQ and ImPACT in the number of previous concussions reported. Among those who reported an attention disorder on the PSQ, 85.7% also reported an attention disorder on the ImPACT. Only 9.5% of those who reported a learning disorder on the PSQ also reported a learning disorder on the ImPACT. CONCLUSION: In 1 of 5 players, reported concussion history differed between the PSQ and ImPACT, and there was substantial disagreement between instruments for those reporting learning disorders. The method of obtaining medical history may, therefore, affect baseline and postconcussion evaluations.

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