ImPACT Pediatric versus ImPACT: Pediatric Sample Differences in Baseline Performance

Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. 2018 Nov;


Ghilain, C., Murdaugh, D., Ono, K. and Burns, T..



Objective: Immediate Post-Concussive Assessment and Cognitive Testing, Pediatric Version (ImPACT-Ped) is a computer-based assessment measuring neurocognitive functioning post-concussion in children ages 5-11, and is a downward extension of the ImPACT (ages 12-59). Prior to the release of ImPACT-Ped, the ImPACT was often used with children ages 8-11. Therefore, this study assessed whether differences in performance exist between the ImPACT-Ped and ImPACT across analogous tests, specifically the word list delay, picture memory delay, and reaction time tests. Participants and Methods: 477 children between 8-11 years who were identified as participants in high impact sports (e.g., football, soccer), completed baseline assessments from the ImPACT-Ped (n= 259, 224 males) and ImPACT (n= 218, 79 males) batteries. Percentage correct scores and reaction time (in seconds) were used to compare performance between analogous tests from the two batteries. Results: One Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were conducted to assess group differences in baseline neurocognitive performance. Significant between group differences were found across all measures. Specifically, children recalled significantly more words on word list F(1,475)=288.55,p< .001 and had faster response time F(1, 475)= 17.02, p< .001 on the ImPACT. In contrast, children recalled significantly more pictures on the ImPACT-Ped F(1, 475)= 162.64, p< .001. Conclusions: Results, as expected, suggest differences in performance on the ImPACT-Ped as compared to the ImPACT across word list delay, picture memory delay, and reaction time tests. These results highlight the differences in performance across measures in two similar samples of non-concussed children. This study provides support for the use of developmentally appropriate measures for assessing neurocognitive functioning at baseline. The variability among tests regardless of the ImPACT version used emphasizes the need for individualized baseline testing for young children in high-impact sports.

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