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The sensitivity and specificity of clinical measures of sport concussion: three tests are better than one

Resch, Jacob
Resch, Jacob
Context: A battery of clinical measures of neurocognition, balance and symptoms has been recommended for the management of sport concussion (SC) but is based on variable evidence. Objective: To examine the sensitivity and specificity of a battery of tests to assess SC in college athletes. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Research laboratory. Patients or other participants: Division 1 athletes diagnosed with a SC (n=40) who were 20.2±1.60 years of age and 180.5±11.12 cm tall and healthy athletes (n=40) who were 19.0±0.93 years of age and 179.1±11.39 cm tall were enrolled. Intervention(s): Participants were administered Immediate Postconcussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (ImPACT), the Sensory Organization Test (SOT) and the Revised Head Injury Scale (HIS-r) prior to and up to 24 h following injury between the 2004 and 2014 sport seasons. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated using predictive discriminant analyses (PDA) and clinical interpretation guidelines. Main outcome measures: Outcome measures included baseline and post injury ImPACT, SOT and HIS-r composite scores. Results: Using PDA, each clinical measure’s sensitivity ranged from 55.0% to 77.5% and specificity ranged from 52.5% to 100%. The test battery possessed a sensitivity and specificity of 80.0% and 100%, respectively. Using clinical interpretation guidelines, sensitivity ranged from 55% to 97.5% individually, and 100% when combined. Conclusions: Our results support a multidimensional approach to assess SC in college athletes which correctly identified 80–100% of concussed participants as injured. When each test was evaluated separately, up to 47.5% of our sample was misclassified. Caution is warranted when using singular measures to manage SC.
British Medical Journal, March 20, 2016
Published Date
March 20, 2016
Sponsoring Agency
University of Virginia Open Access Fund
Libra Open Repository
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