Article #34 of 50: I have made it a goal of mine to share at least 50 research articles with you to review in 2012. These articles will be shared with no opinion of mine, just purely the information provided in the research and where to go to read more about the topic. This weekly challenge will feature many different aspects of the field: strength, conditioning, nutrition, psychology, etc. If you would like to submit research articles to be included in this segment, please email me a PDF version of the peer reviewed journal article.

Am J Sports Med 2012 40: 927.

Background: To improve and standardize the sideline evaluation of sports-related concussion, the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (SCAT2) was developed. This tool assesses concussion-related signs and symptoms, cognition, balance, and coordination. This newly published assessment tool has not established representative baseline data on adolescent athletes.

Hypothesis: Representative baseline SCAT2 scores in adolescent athletes will differ by gender, grade in school, and self-reported concussion history.

Study Design: Descriptive epidemiology study.

Methods: Interscholastic athletes were administered the SCAT2 during a preseason concussion baseline testing session. The SCAT2 total score ranges from 0 to 100 points, with lower scores indicating poorer performance. Overall, representative values were calculated using descriptive statistics. Separate independent-samples t tests, with gender and concussion history as the independent variables, and a 1-way analysis of variance, with grade as the independent variable, were conducted to assess differences in SCAT2 total score (P < .05). Results: There were 1134 high school athletes (872 male and 262 female) who participated. The SCAT2 total score across all participants was 88.3 +/- 6.8 (range, 58-100); skewness was –0.86 +/- 0.07, and kurtosis was 0.73 +/- 0.14. Male athletes scored significantly lower on the SCAT2 total score (P = .03; 87.7 +/- 6.8 vs 88.7 +/- 6.8), and 9th graders (86.9 +/- 6.8) scored significantly lower than 11th (88.7 +/- 7.0) and 12th (89.0 +/- 6.6) graders (P < .001). Athletes with a self-reported concussion history scored significantly lower on the SCAT2 total score than those with no concussion history (P < .001; 87.0 +/- 6.8 vs 88.7 +/- 6.5). Conclusion: These data provide representative scores on the SCAT2 in adolescent athletes and show that male athletes, 9th graders, and those with a self-reported concussion history scored significantly lower than their female, upperclassmen, or non-concussed peers. Clinical Relevance: These results suggest that healthy adolescent athletes display variability on the SCAT2 at baseline. Therefore, clinicians should administer baseline assessments of the SCAT2 because assuming a perfect baseline score of 100 points is not appropriate in an adolescent athlete population.

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