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Concussion Baseline Retesting Is Necessary When Initial Scores Are Low

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Objective:

To determine whether (1) initial baseline scores are significantly better for those who have valid (initial valid) versus invalid scores (initial invalid) on their concussion baseline testing, (2) retesting results in significantly improved baseline scores, and (3) there is a significant difference in scores between those who have valid scores on their initial attempt and those who retook baseline tests (retest valid).

Design:

Prospective, repeated-measures.

Setting:

Two years of collegiate preparticipation concussion baseline testing.

Participants:

Five hundred forty-seven male and female Division I collegiate athletes (19.02 ± 1.31 years, female = 217).

Independent Variables:

Participants were divided into initial valid and initial invalid. The retest group was further divided into their initial (initial invalid) and final valid attempt (retest valid).

Main Outcome Measures:

Data were analyzed to determine the relationship between the 3 groups and overall initial and final scores on 28 individual items: total symptoms score, coordination, near-point convergence, CNS Vital Signs (CNSVS), Senaptec Sensory Station, and Neurocom Sensory Organization Test (SOT).

Results:

The initial valid group scored significantly better than the initial invalid group on 8 CNSVS items and 5 Senaptec items (P < 0.002). The retest valid scores were significantly better compared with the initial invalid scores on 17 items (P < 0.002).

Conclusions:

Retesting is recommended for individuals who score below acceptable ranges. This is important because athletes may experience a learning effect and are highly motivated during postinjury testing, so accurate baseline scores are imperative for athlete safety. Completion time for the coordination test may be a more informative option.

Keywords: CNS Vital Signs; NeuroCom; Senaptec Sensory Station; coordination; nearpoint convergence; symptoms

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 22, 2022

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