Pre- and Post-Season Physical and Cognitive Testing of College Athletes Susceptible to the Effects of Concussion
Concussions are considered a common occurrence in all contact sports, during practice as well as in games. Quarterbacks and wide receivers have the highest concussion rates in professional football while offensive and defensive linemen and linebackers have among the lowest concussion rates. Concussion account for approximately 6% of all injuries in college football. Every player is impacted by a concussion differently. As a result, athletes are at risk for returning to play too soon and potentially struggling on the field and in the classroom. In worse cases, players are at risk for second-impact syndrome which can have a fatal impact on the athlete.
The ImPACT is commonly used in both high school and collegiate athletics to identify athletes with concussions. However, research validating the ImPACT used with other psychological measures is limited. Studies have shown the ImPACT is more effective at diagnosing a concussion when combined with other tests that take into account factors such as balance. Therefore, we included the SCAT 2 and BESS, in addition to the ImPACT, in attempt to more accurately identify concussed athletes.