Preseason Baseline Neurocognitive Performances and Symptom Reporting on ImPACT(R): A Comparison of Adolescent Student-Athletes Tested in Spanish and English

J Athl Train. 2020 Dec;

Karr, J. E., Garcia-Barrera, M. A., Marsh, J. M., Maxwell, B., Berkner, P. D., & Iverson, G. L..

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT: Context: Student-athletes are commonly administered the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT(R)) battery at preseason baseline and post concussion. The ImPACT(R) is available in many different languages, but few studies have examined differences in cognitive performances and symptom ratings based on language of administration. Objective: This study examined differences on ImPACT(R) neurocognitive composites and symptom reporting at preseason baseline testing between student-athletes completing ImPACT(R) in Spanish versus English. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Preseason baseline testing for a high school concussion management program in STATE-XXX. Patients of Other Participants: Adolescent student-athletes completing testing in Spanish (n=169) and English (n=169) were matched on age, gender, and health/academic history. Language groups were compared on each outcome for the full sample and for gender-stratified subsamples. Main Outcome Measure(s): Neurocognitive composite scores and individual and total symptom severity ratings from the ImPACT(R) battery. Results: Athletes tested in Spanish had lower neurocognitive performances on two of five composite scores (i.e., Visual Motor Speed, p<.001, d=.51; Reaction Time: p=.004, d=.33) and reported greater symptom severity (p<.001, r=.21). When analyses were stratified by gender, similar Visual Motor Speed differences were observed between language groups among boys (p=.001, d=.49) and girls (p=.001, d=0.49), whereas Reaction Time showed a larger group difference for boys (p=.012, d=.42) than girls (p=.128, d=.21). Language group differences in symptom reporting were similar for boys (p=.003, r=.22) and girls (p=.008, r=.21), with more frequent endorsement of physical and affective symptoms by athletes tested in Spanish. Conclusions: Language group differences in total symptom severity were small (r=.21), and language group differences in neurocognitive performances were small-to-medium (d=.05-.51). Compared to previous studies comparing athletes tested in Spanish and English on ImPACT(R), smaller effects were observed in the current study, which may be attributable to close matching on variables related to neurocognitive performances and symptom reporting. KEY POINTS:

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