Change in Balance Performance Predicts Neurocognitive Dysfunction and Symptom Endorsement in Concussed College Athletes

Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2020 Jun;

DaCosta, A., Crane, A., Webbe, F., & LoGalbo, A..



OBJECTIVE: Following concussion, there is an array of sequelae including symptom burden, neurocognitive dysfunction, and balance impairment. However, the magnitude of change in balance performance has yet to be explored fully regarding its relationship with neurocognitive functioning or symptom endorsement. The present study hypothesized that the magnitude of change in balance performance from baseline to post-trauma would have unique predictive power in identifying acute clinical outcomes. METHOD: Sixty-eight college athletes completed annual preparticipation baseline testing and were later diagnosed with a concussion. RESULTS: Linear regressions determined that the magnitude of change in balance performance was a better predictor of neurocognitive dysfunction and endorsement of “balance problems” than post-trauma balance performance alone. CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the importance of incorporating balance measurements during preparticipation baseline assessment.

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