What tests and measures should be added to the SCAT3 and related tests to improve their reliability, sensitivity and/or specificity in sideline concussion diagnosis? A systematic review

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Abstract

Objectives

Several iterations of the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) have been published over the past 16 years. Our goal was to systematically review the literature related to the SCAT and provide recommendations for improving the tool. To achieve this goal, five separate but related searches were conducted and presented herein.

Design

Systematic literature review.

Data sources

Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, SPORTDiscus and PubMed.

Eligibility criteria

Original, empirical, peer-reviewed findings published in English and included sports-related concussion (SRC). Review papers, case studies, editorials and conference proceedings/abstracts were excluded. The age range for the ChildSCAT was 5–12 years and for the Adult SCAT was 13 years and above.

Results

Out of 2961 articles screened, a total of 96 articles were included across the five searches. Searches were not mutually exclusive. The final number of articles included in the qualitative synthesis for each search was 21 on Adult SCAT, 32 on ChildSCAT, 21 on sideline, 8 on video/observation and 14 on oculomotor.

Summary/conclusions

The SCAT is the most widely accepted and deployable sport concussion assessment and screening tool currently available. There is some degree of support for using the SCAT2/SCAT3 and ChildSCAT3 in the evaluation of SRC, with and without baseline data. The addition of an oculomotor examination seems indicated, although the most valid method for assessing oculomotor function is not clear. Video-observable signs of concussion show promise, but there is insufficient evidence to warrant widespread use at this time.

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