Year of Publication

2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. David T. R. Berry

Second Advisor

Dr. Dong (Dan) Y. Han

Abstract

Sports concussions have been recognized as significant injuries among young athletes with research demonstrating that return-to-play prior to becoming asymptomatic can have significant repercussions, including risk of sustaining cognitive deficits. In tracking and monitoring concussions during sports seasons, many programs have begun utilizing computerized testing rather than traditional neuropsychological tests to 1) determine baseline scores, 2) track symptoms, and 3) measure cognitive deficits following concussion.

Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) is one such instrument. The current study examined ImPACT’s convergent, discriminant, and diagnostic validity by comparing scores from post-concussion athletes (SPORT) to those from non-concussed controls (CONT). SPORT included 29 athletes, ages 12-16, referred for neuropsychological testing following sports-related concussions. CONT included 25 healthy athletes, ages 12-16, who had not sustained a concussion in the past year.

Overall, results showed general support for ImPACT, when used to screen cognition. In fact, all ImPACT domains successfully differentiated between CONT and SPORT athletes; evidence supporting appropriate convergent validity was best for the Visual Memory domain. ImPACT domains demonstrated variable discriminant validity. Overall examination of validity demonstrated that ImPACT has some weaknesses but may have utility in detecting post-concussion cognitive impairment.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2016.266

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