Objective: Pediatric Immediate Post-Concussive Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) is a computer-based assessment measuring neurocognitive functioning in children with suspected concussion. Using colorful graphics similar to those in video games, ImPACT Pediatric can be administered in 10-15 minutes and assesses sequencing/attention, word memory, visual memory and reaction time. Previous studies have demonstrated that age and gender significantly impact neuropsychological performance on the ImPACT used in adolescent and adult populations. Therefore, this serves as a description of age and gender differences at baseline assessment in a pediatric sample.
Participants and Methods: 358 children between 5-11 years (M= 107.26 months, SD= 19.93 months), who were identified as participants in high impact sports, completed baseline assessments from the Pediatric ImPACT battery.
Results: One Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were conducted to assess age differences in neurocognitive performance. Significant differences were found by age on Word List Immediate (WLI) F(6,351)= 30.26, p<.01 and Delayed (WLD) F(6,351)= 36.08, p<.01 Recall, Memory Touch Number Correct (MTNC) F(6,351)= 99.82, p<.01, Stop and Go Number Correct (SGNC) F(6, 351)= 9.55, p<.01, and Picture Memory Average Taps F(6,351)= 195.27, p<.01 and Completion Time (PMCT) F(6,351)= 865.68, p<.01. Results of gender analyses demonstrated significant differences in performance on WLI F(1,356)=17.67, p=<.01 and WLD F(1,356)=5.83,p=.02, MTNC F(1,356)=14.40,p<.01, SGNC (1,356)=3.91,p<.05, and PMCT F(1,356)=5.58,p=.02.
Conclusions: Results, as expected, suggest significant age and gender-based differences in neurocognitive performance ImPACT Pediatric. These results highlight the importance of age and gender normative data as tools to facilitate appropriate return to play or school recommendations for those children without individual baseline assessments.