Objective: Abnormal test scores are found even amongst cognitively healthy individuals (Schretlen et al., 2008), which could lead to a conclusion of impairments despite no functional deficits. Baseline evaluations for sport-related concussion offer the opportunity to examine individual variability in healthy children with no identified cognitive complaints. Method: Investigators administered a two-hour baseline neuropsychological battery assessing all cognitive domains to 45 children aged 8-16 who play sports considered high risk for sport-related concussion (i.e., soccer, football). Parents received a brief report of test results as compensation. Results: ‘Abnormal’ test scores were defined as those falling at least one standard deviation below the mean (per Schretlen et al., 2008). Thirty-three participants (73.3%) demonstrated at least one abnormal score. Twenty-five of those 33 (75.8%) had five or fewer abnormal scores, while eight (24.2%) had six or more abnormal scores. Interestingly, the total number of abnormal scores negatively correlated with FSIQ, r(31) = -.50, p < .01. There were no group differences in number of abnormal test scores between children with and without a history of previous concussion (p > .05). Conclusion: These findings demonstrate the importance of comparing post-concussion scores to baseline evaluations when assessing children for effects of sport-related concussion, as the significant individual variability in even healthy children's performance could yield interpretations of concussion-related deficits when there are none. As individual variability may result in ‘abnormal’ scores, a clear picture of a child's baseline performance will allow for a more accurate assessment of the effects of subsequent concussions on that child's cognitive functioning.
Abnormal Test Scores Not so Abnormal in Children's Baseline Sport Concussion Testing
C Conaboy, A Rosen, K Colby, R Hirst; A-52
Abnormal Test Scores Not so Abnormal in Children's Baseline Sport Concussion Testing. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2016; 31 (6): 603. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acw043.52
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