In Response to: Does Visual Performance Influence Head Impact Severity Among High School Football Athletes?

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Dear Editor-in-Chief:
In a recent issue of Clin J Sport Med, Schmidt et al, published an article concerning vision training and head impacts (Clin J Sport Med. 2014 [Epub ahead of print]. 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000143). In addition, a second article published in Ann Biomed Eng. 2014;42:1–10. doi: 10.1007/s10439-013-0881-8 by Harpham et al, shares 2 of the same authors. We find aspects of these 2 articles contradictory, and feel that the methods in the Schmidt article in particular are questionable and the conclusions unsubstantiated.
The article is an interesting study, characterized as “quasi-experimental” comparing baseline vision parameters to head impacts in high school football players. A single vision assessment was performed, no vision training performed, and then head impacts were followed during the season using accelerometers. The authors report that there was no statistically significant difference in hit severity in those who had “good” visual performance compared with “bad” visual performance.
We take strong exception to the following conclusion stated in the abstract and elsewhere:
We posit our concerns as follows:
In this letter, we respectfully request that Schmidt et al, reconcile the concerns we have expressed above, including addressing the contradictory recommendations made in the 2 articles and clarifying their conclusions regarding vision training.
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