Term of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Thomas Buckley

Committee Member 1

Jody Langdon

Committee Member 2

Barry Munkasy

Abstract

Context: Commonly used single task (ST) concussion assessments are unable to identify lingering impairments following a concussion. Current dual task (DT) assessments use cost prohibitive technological assessments not available to most clinicians, creating the need for a clinically applicable dual task assessment to identify impairments. Objective: To determine if a DT assessment consisting of the Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC) and with the Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) is able to identify impairments. Design: Prospective longitudinal. Setting: Research laboratory. Participants: Concussed student-athletes and matched health controls, 18 females, 10 males. Concussed group: age 19.00±0.88, height 174.53±12.06 cm, and mass 75.28±22.02 kg. Healthy group: age 19.36±1.34, height 171.45±11.69 cm, mass 73.34±22.7 kg. Participants were matched based upon gender, mass, and sport. Interventions: The DT assessment was administered on the day of recovery (REC), on the day of return to play (RTP), and 30 days post-concussion (D30). Main Outcome Measures: Scores of SAC and BESS as a dual task. Results: No significant interaction or main effect was found between session and group for BESS. No significant interaction between session and status was found for SAC. There was a significant main effect found for session for SAC. Simple contrasts revealed significant differences between recovery REC and D30, and between RTP and D30. The SAC D30 scores were significantly higher (better) than recovery and return to play day, regardless of group. No significant differences were found between concussed and healthy for SAC at REC, RTP, and D30. Conclusions: There were no differences between recently concussed and healthy participants when performing the BESS and SAC as a DT challenge. Interestingly, an improvement in cognitive performance was identified whereby all participants improved SAC performance with repeat administration. Conversely, no improvements were noted with repeat performance suggesting a posture first strategy was not being employed. Future research should utilize tasks that challenge both the cognitive and postural domains, but is also plausible and feasible for clinicians to utilize.

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