The sport concussion baseline assessment: an investigation of sex and sport differences

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Abstract

Objective

To assess for sex and sport baseline differences for the Immediate Postconcussion and Cognitive Test (ImPACT) and Sensory Organisation Test (SOT) in collegiate athletes.

Design

Cross-sectional.

Setting

Research laboratory.

Participants

Participants consisted of 315 male (n=189) and female (n=126) division I collegiate athletes with an average of 19.5 + 1.34 and 19.3 + 1.31 years, respectively.

Intervention

Participants completed ImPACT and the SOT baseline assessments as part of their university concussion management protocol.

Outcome measures

Analyses of variance were used to assess for sex and sport differences for ImPACT’s Visual and Verbal Memory, Visual Motor Speed, and Reaction Time and the SOT’s composite scores. Post-hoc analyses were performed with Tukey’s test. All analyses were performed with α=.05.

Main results

In terms of sex, females scored significantly higher than males on ImPACT’s Verbal Memory (F (1,314)=4.85, p=0.03) and Visual Motor Speed (F (1,314)=4.51, p=0.03) composite scores. Within male sports, a significant difference was observed for the SOT composite score (F (6,181)=3.22, p=0.01). Within female sports, a significant difference was observed between sports for ImPACT’s Reaction Time composite score (F (6,125)=4.16, p=0.01).

Conclusions

Overall, sex as well as sport differences were observed for baseline ImPACT and SOT performance for one or more composite scores. Our results support the use of baseline assessments to account for performance differences between sex and sport.

Competing interests

None.

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