Baseline Concussion Testing in Different Environments: A Pilot Study

Submitted by Brandon Spradley, Sutthanuch Wiriyanpinit and Amber Magner

ABSTRACT
Purpose: Athletic trainers and sport medicine professionals have the responsibility of diagnosing and managing concussion in athletes. The King-Devick (K-D) Test provides athletic trainers and sport medicine professionals with an easy-to-use concussion screening tool that requires only two minutes to administer and has relevance to contact sports such as football, soccer, boxing, and mixed martial arts. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the reliability of baseline testing with the K-D Test in different environments.

Methods: A total of nine participants (6 males, 3 females, mean age: 39 ± 14.49 yrs) participated in the three day investigation. Subjects reported to the human performance laboratory on three separate days. Participants were given standard instructions for the K-D Test. Participants were required to complete the K-D test under a quiet environment (with minimal to no noise) and under two loud (noisy) environments; one with speakers and the other with headphones.

Results: Results indicated K-D scores for baseline (BL) and speakers (SP) rendered group means of (BL: 40.54 ± 14.95 s, SP: 40.54 ± 15.92 s), while scores for HP signified slightly lower group means of 39.54 ± 14.39 s. No variables showed any statistical difference in K-D scores (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: Most participants were able to improve their K-D scores from Trial 1 (T1) to Trial 2 (T2) on baseline testing, signifying a slight learning effect within the study group.

Application to Sport: Athletic trainers, healthcare professionals, and those administering the K-D Test should be consistent in assessing pre and post K-D scores, although significant changes might not occur when performing the K-D Test under different environments (with crowd noise). Athletes should be treated on an individual basis when using the K-D Test to assess pre and post test scores.
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