Computerized neurocognitive testing for the management of sport-related concussions

Pediatrics. 2012 Jan;


Meehan, W. P., 3rd, P. d'Hemecourt, C. L. Collins, A. M. Taylor and R. D. Comstock.



OBJECTIVES: To describe the prevalence of computerized neurocognitive testing for the assessment of high school athletes who sustain concussions, and to describe associations between using computerized neurocognitive tests, timing of return-to-play, and medical provider managing the athlete. METHODS: Concussions recorded in the High School Reporting Information Online injury surveillance system during the 2009-2010 academic year were included. Measures of association between use of computerized neurocognitive testing and outcomes were analyzed. A questionnaire was sent to athletic trainers (ATs) querying the use of computerized neurocognitive testing. chi(2) analyses were conducted for categorical variables. Logistic regression analyses were used to adjust for potential confounders. Statistical significance was set at P < .05. RESULTS: High School Reporting Information Online recorded 1056 concussions. Athletes who underwent computerized neurocognitive testing were less likely to be returned to play within 10 days of injury (38.5% vs 55.7%, P < .001) and more likely to be returned to play by a physician (60.9% vs 45.6%, P < .001). We had a response rate of 97.3% for the survey. Of respondents, 39.9% used computerized neurocognitive testing; 93.0% of those used ImPACT. Tests were most often interpreted by ATs (78.9%) and/or physicians (78.8%), as opposed to neuropsychologists (16.9%). CONCLUSIONS: Approximately 40% of US high schools that employ an AT use computerized neurocognitive tests when managing sport-related concussions. Tests are most often interpreted by ATs and physicians, as opposed to neuropsychologists. Computerized neurocognitive tests are significantly associated with the timing of return-to-play.

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