History of Concussion and Validity of ImPACT Baseline Scores in College Athletes

Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. 2011 Sep;

26(6):517-518.

Lichtenstein, J., Z. Adams-Deutsch, J. Fleischer and K. Goldberg.

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Abstract:

Objective: To investigate the effect of previous concussions upon questionable validity scores (“sandbagging”) on baseline neurocognitive testing among college athletes. Method: A chi-square analysis was conducted to examine the relation between the number of previous concussions reported and baseline neurocognitive test scores that were below the suggested validity cutoffs. Subjects included 973 college athletes at an NCAA Division III university who received baseline testing as part of their university’s concussion management program. The Immediate Postconcussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing neurocognitive battery (ImPACT) was used, and baseline testing was administered during an athlete’s 2011 Annual Meeting Abstracts / Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 26 (2011); 470–567 517 pre-season. Results: The relation between the number of previous concussions reported and “sandbagging” scores was not significant on either the Verbal Memory Composite, x 2 (1, N ¼ 973) ¼ 0.003, p ¼ .998, or Visual Memory Composite, x 2 (1, N ¼ 973) ¼ 5.214, p ¼ .074. Conclusions: There is not a significant relationship between the number of previous concussions reported and questionably valid performance on neurocognitive baseline testing. This suggests to practitioners that the number of concussions reported by college athletes at the time of their baseline testing may not be a meaningful indicator of a “sandbagging” profile. Additionally, these measures of validity appear to be insensitive to the effects of previous concussions.

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