Use caution with computerized concussion test, researcher says

Newly published research from an international team featuring UT Arlington assistant professor Jacob Resch has reaffirmed questions about portions of the popular computerized concussion assessment tool ImPACT.

When administered as it is in a clinical setting, the test possessed strong reliability on some evaluation factors. But, on other factors, it miscategorized healthy participants as impaired as much as 46 percent of the time.

Authors say the study illustrates the need for multiple types of assessments. The research was published online May 31 in the Journal of Athletic Training. Jacob Resch, assistant professor in UT Arlington's College of Education and Health Professions and director of the UT Arlington Laboratory, is the lead author on the paper "ImPact Test-Retest Reliability: Reliably Unreliable?"

"This research confirms previous findings about ImPACT, and that is especially noteworthy in light of a recent study that found that who use computerized neurocognitive testing choose ImPACT," Resch said. "We hope this study re-emphasizes the importance of using multiple measures such as balance and a thorough clinical examination to assess concussed athletes."

ImPACT, which stands for Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing, includes tests and retests that are used to monitor concussion recovery from a neuropsychological viewpoint. Researchers found that the retests miscategorized healthy participants as impaired from 22 to 46 percent of the time. The most unreliable portions of the tests had to do with verbal and .

Resch and fellow researchers tested 91 men and women separated into two groups. Participants were ages 19 to 24. Researchers used different time ranges to assess test-retest reliability for each group.

ImPACT is widely used in professional and . Test makers have said it is intended to be used alongside other assessments, but researchers worry schools with limited resources will see it as a single solution.

"Clinicians should recognize that a computerized neuropsychological test such as ImPACT is only one component of a concussion-management protocol and use all appropriate tools in clinical decision making and making a return-to-play decision," the paper said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sports concussion management recommendations updated

Mar 25, 2013

(HealthDay)—Recommendations for sports concussion and its management have been updated, according to a consensus statement published in the April issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Recommended for you

Moderate alcohol consumption increases attractiveness

26 minutes ago

Consuming alcohol (equivalent to about a glass of wine) can make the drinker appear more attractive than when sober, according to new research from the University of Bristol. However, the effect disappears ...

Teenage TV audiences and energy drink advertisements

3 hours ago

Researchers at Dartmouth College examined a database of television advertisements broadcast between March 2012 and February 2013 on 139 network and cable channels and found that more than 608 hours of advertisements for energy ...

How drinking behavior changes through the years

11 hours ago

In the UK, frequent drinking becomes more common in middle to old age, especially amongst men, according to research published in the open access journal, BMC Medicine. Doctors are seeing a growing number ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.