Convergent and discriminant validity of the Immediate Postconcussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing Battery (ImPACT) in young athletes

Appl Neuropsychol Child -


Koehl, L. M. W., B. D.; Brothers, S. L.; Morris, S. N.; Glueck, A. C.; Schmitt, F. A.; Berry, D. T. R.; Han, D. Y..



Sports concussions are recognized as significant injuries among young athletes. Research demonstrates that return-to-play prior to becoming asymptomatic has significant repercussions including sustained cognitive deficits. Many programs have begun to use computerized testing rather than traditional neuropsychological tests to (a) determine baseline performance, (b) track symptoms, and (c) measure symptoms following concussion. Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) is one such tool. The current study examined ImPACT’s convergent and discriminant validity by comparing scores from sports-related concussion athletes (SRC) to those from nonconcussed controls (CTL). SRC included 29 athletes, ages 12-16, referred for neuropsychological assessment following sports-related concussions. CTL included 25 healthy athletes, ages 12-16, who were concussion-free in the past year. Overall, results showed general support for ImPACT, when used to screen cognition. In fact, all ImPACT domains successfully differentiated between SRC and CTL athletes. Evidence supporting appropriate convergent validity was best for the Visual Memory domain. Further, ImPACT domains demonstrated variable discriminant validity. Overall examination of validity demonstrated that ImPACT has some weaknesses but may have utility in detecting postconcussion cognitive impairment.

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