To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Despite the public health burden of traumatic brain injury (TBI) across broader society, most TBI studies have been isolated to a distinct subpopulation. The TBI research literature is fragmented further because often studies of distinct populations have used different assessment procedures and instruments. Addressing calls to harmonize the literature will require tools to link data collected from different instruments that measure the same construct, such as civilian mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and sports concussion symptom inventories.
We used item response theory (IRT) to link scores from the Rivermead Post Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ) and the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) symptom checklist, widely used instruments for assessing civilian and sport-related mTBI symptoms, respectively. The sample included data from n = 397 patients who suffered a sports-related concussion, civilian mTBI, orthopedic injury control, or non-athlete control and completed the SCAT and/or RPQ.
The results of several analyses supported sufficient unidimensionality to treat the RPQ + SCAT combined item set as measuring a single construct. Fixed-parameter IRT was used to create a cross-walk table that maps RPQ total scores to SCAT symptom severity scores. Linked and observed scores were highly correlated (r = .92). Standard errors of the IRT scores were slightly higher for civilian mTBI patients and orthopedic controls, particularly for RPQ scores linked from the SCAT.
By linking the RPQ to the SCAT we facilitated efforts to effectively combine samples and harmonize data relating to mTBI.
Subjective cognitive difficulties (SCDs) are associated with factors commonly reported in older adults and former contact sport athletes, regardless of objective cognitive decline. We investigated the relative contribution of these factors to SCD in former National Football League (NFL)-players with and without a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Former NFL players (n = 907) aged ≥ 50 years (mean = 64.7 ± 8.9), with (n = 165) and without (n = 742) a diagnosis of MCI completed health questionnaires. Multivariable regression and dominance analyses determined the relative importance of SCD factors on SCD: 1) depression, 2) anxiety, 3) sleep disturbance, 4) pain interference, 5) ability to participate in social roles and activities, 6) stress-related events, 7) fatigue, 8) concussion history, and 9) education. SCD outcomes included Neuro-QoL Emotional-Behavioral Dyscontrol and the PROMIS Cognitive Function. Fisher’s z-transformation compared comorbid contributing factors to SCD across MCI and non-MCI groups.
Complete dominance of anxiety was established over most comorbid factors across the MCI and non-MCI groups. Fatigue also exhibited complete dominance over most comorbid factors, though its influence in the MCI group was less robust (general dominance). Average contributions to variance accounted for by comorbid factors to ratings of SCD across MCI and non-MCI groups did not statistically differ (Z-statistics <1.96, ps>.05).
Anxiety and fatigue are the most robust factors associated with SCD in former professional football players across various combinations of clinical presentations (different combinations of comorbid factors), regardless of documented cognitive impairment. Self-reported deficits may be less reliable in detecting objective impairment in the presence of these factors, with multidimensional assessment being ideal.
Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) symptoms are typically assessed via questionnaires in research, yet questionnaires may be more prone to biases than direct clinical interviews. We compared mTBI symptoms reported on two widely used self-report inventories and the novel Structured Interview of TBI Symptoms (SITS). Second, we explored the association between acquiescence response bias and symptom reporting across modes of assessment.
Level 1 trauma center patients with mTBI (N = 73) were recruited within 2 weeks of injury, assessed at 3 months post-TBI, and produced nonacquiescent profiles. Assessments collected included the SITS (comprising open-ended and closed-ended questions), Rivermead Post Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ), Sport Concussion Assessment Tool-3 (SCAT-3) symptom checklist, and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 Restructured Form True Response Inconsistency (TRIN-r) scale.
Current mTBI symptom burden and individual symptom endorsement were highly concordant between SITS closed-ended questions, the RPQ, and the SCAT-3. Within the SITS, participants reported significantly fewer mTBI symptoms to open-ended as compared to later closed-ended questions, and this difference was weakly correlated with TRIN-r. Symptom scales were weakly associated with TRIN-r.
mTBI symptom reporting varies primarily by whether questioning is open- vs. closed-ended but not by mode of assessment (interview, questionnaire). Acquiescence response bias appears to play a measurable but small role in mTBI symptom reporting overall and the degree to which participants report more symptoms to closed- than open-ended questioning. These findings have important implications for mTBI research and support the validity of widely used TBI symptom inventories.
Years of sport participation (YoP) is conventionally used to estimate cumulative repetitive head impacts (RHI) experienced by contact sport athletes. The relationship of this measure to other estimates of head impact exposure and the potential associations of these measures with neurobehavioral functioning are unknown. We investigated the association between YoP and the Head Impact Exposure Estimate (HIEE), and whether associations between the two estimates of exposure and neurobehavioral functioning varied.
Former American football players (N = 58; age = 37.9 ± 1.5 years) completed in-person evaluations approximately 15 years following sport discontinuation. Assessments consisted of neuropsychological assessment and structured interviews of head impact history (i.e., HIEE). General linear models were fit to test the association between YoP and the HIEE, and their associations with neurobehavioral outcomes.
YoP was weakly correlated with the HIEE, p = .005, R2 = .13. Higher YoP was associated with worse performance on the Symbol Digit Modalities Test, p = .004, R2 = .14, and Trail Making Test-B, p = .001, R2 = .18. The HIEE was associated with worse performance on the Delayed Recall trial of the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised, p = .020, R2 = .09, self-reported cognitive difficulties (Neuro-QoL Cognitive Function), p = .011, R2 = .10, psychological distress (Brief Symptom Inventory-18), p = .018, R2 = .10, and behavioral regulation (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function for Adults), p = .017, R2 = .10.
YoP was marginally associated with the HIEE, a comprehensive estimate of head impacts sustained over a career. Associations between each exposure estimate and neurobehavioral functioning outcomes differed. Findings have meaningful implications for efforts to accurately quantify the risk of adverse long-term neurobehavioral outcomes potentially associated with RHI.
Despite consensus that personality influences mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) recovery, it has been underexamined. We evaluated the extent to which diverse personality and psychiatric symptom dimensions predict mTBI recovery.
This prospective cohort study involved psychological assessments of hospital patients with mTBI (n = 75; median = 2 days post-injury, range = 0–12 days) and orthopedic trauma controls (OTC; n = 79) who were used for comparison in mediation modeling. Chronic symptoms were evaluated at 3 months after mTBI (n = 50) using the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) symptom checklist. Linear regression analyses were used to identify the predominant predictors of chronic symptoms in mTBI. Modern mediation analyses tested the hypothesis that personality traits predict chronic symptoms through acute psychological response to injury.
In mTBI, trait psychoticism directly predicted chronic mTBI symptoms and was the strongest personality predictor overall. Furthermore, an internalizing personality dimension emphasizing negative affect/emotionality and detachment predicted chronic mTBI symptoms indirectly through enhancement of acute somatic complaints. In OTC, internalizing personality acted through the same mediator as in mTBI, whereas the effect of psychoticism was also mediated through acute somatic complaints. There was varying support for a moderated direct effect of personality traits at low levels of positive emotionality across models.
These causal models provide novel insights about the role of personality in mTBI symptom recovery, highlighting the complexity of how psychological processes may interact to affect recovery and revealing that some of these processes may be non-specific to brain injury.
In response to advancing clinical practice guidelines regarding concussion management, service members, like athletes, complete a baseline assessment prior to participating in high-risk activities. While several studies have established test stability in athletes, no investigation to date has examined the stability of baseline assessment scores in military cadets. The objective of this study was to assess the test–retest reliability of a baseline concussion test battery in cadets at U.S. Service Academies.
All cadets participating in the Concussion Assessment, Research, and Education (CARE) Consortium investigation completed a standard baseline battery that included memory, balance, symptom, and neurocognitive assessments. Annual baseline testing was completed during the first 3 years of the study. A two-way mixed-model analysis of variance (intraclass correlation coefficent (ICC)3,1) and Kappa statistics were used to assess the stability of the metrics at 1-year and 2-year time intervals.
ICC values for the 1-year test interval ranged from 0.28 to 0.67 and from 0.15 to 0.57 for the 2-year interval. Kappa values ranged from 0.16 to 0.21 for the 1-year interval and from 0.29 to 0.31 for the 2-year test interval. Across all measures, the observed effects were small, ranging from 0.01 to 0.44.
This investigation noted less than optimal reliability for the most common concussion baseline assessments. While none of the assessments met or exceeded the accepted clinical threshold, the effect sizes were relatively small suggesting an overlap in performance from year-to-year. As such, baseline assessments beyond the initial evaluation in cadets are not essential but could aid concussion diagnosis.
Objectives: To describe multivariate base rates (MBRs) of low scores and reliable change (decline) scores on Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) in college athletes at baseline, as well as to assess MBR differences among demographic and medical history subpopulations. Methods: Data were reported on 15,909 participants (46.5% female) from the NCAA/DoD CARE Consortium. MBRs of ImPACT composite scores were derived using published CARE normative data and reliability metrics. MBRs of sex-corrected low scores were reported at <25th percentile (Low Average), <10th percentile (Borderline), and ≤2nd percentile (Impaired). MBRs of reliable decline scores were reported at the 75%, 90%, 95%, and 99% confidence intervals. We analyzed subgroups by sex, race, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and/or learning disability (ADHD/LD), anxiety/depression, and concussion history using chi-square analyses. Results: Base rates of low scores and reliable decline scores on individual composites approximated the normative distribution. Athletes obtained ≥1 low score with frequencies of 63.4% (Low Average), 32.0% (Borderline), and 9.1% (Impaired). Athletes obtained ≥1 reliable decline score with frequencies of 66.8%, 32.2%, 18%, and 3.8%, respectively. Comparatively few athletes had low scores or reliable decline on ≥2 composite scores. Black/African American athletes and athletes with ADHD/LD had higher rates of low scores, while greater concussion history was associated with lower MBRs (p < .01). MBRs of reliable decline were not associated with demographic or medical factors. Conclusions: Clinical interpretation of low scores and reliable decline on ImPACT depends on the strictness of the low score cutoff, the reliable change criterion, and the number of scores exceeding these cutoffs. Race and ADHD influence the frequency of low scores at all cutoffs cross-sectionally.
Objectives: Concussions cause diverse symptoms that are often measured through a single symptom severity score. Researchers have postulated distinct dimensions of concussion symptoms, raising the possibility that total scores may not accurately represent their multidimensional nature. This study examined to what degree concussion symptoms, assessed by the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 3 (SCAT3), reflect a unidimensional versus multidimensional construct to inform how the SCAT3 should be scored and advance efforts to identify distinct phenotypes of concussion. Methods: Data were aggregated across two prospective studies of sport-related concussion, yielding 219 high school and college athletes in the acute (<48 hr) post-injury period. Item-level ratings on the SCAT3 checklist were analyzed through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. We specified higher-order and bifactor models and compared their fit, interpretability, and external correlates. Results: The best-fitting model was a five-factor bifactor model that included a general factor on which all items loaded and four specific factors reflecting emotional symptoms, torpor, sensory sensitivities, and headache symptoms. The bifactor model demonstrated better discriminant validity than the counterpart higher-order model, in which the factors were highly correlated (r=.55–.91). Conclusions: The SCAT3 contains items that appear unidimensional, suggesting that it is appropriate to quantify concussion symptoms with total scores. However, evidence of multidimensionality was revealed using bifactor modeling. Additional work is needed to clarify the nature of factors identified by this model, explicate their clinical and research utility, and determine to what degree the model applies to other stages of injury recovery and patient subgroups. (JINS, 2018, 24, 793–804)
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability and validity of three computerized neurocognitive assessment tools (CNTs; i.e., ANAM, DANA, and ImPACT) for assessing mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in patients recruited through a level I trauma center emergency department (ED). Methods: mTBI (n=94) and matched trauma control (n=80) subjects recruited from a level I trauma center emergency department completed symptom and neurocognitive assessments within 72 hr of injury and at 15 and 45 days post-injury. Concussion symptoms were also assessed via phone at 8 days post-injury. Results: CNTs did not differentiate between groups at any time point (e.g., M 72-hr Cohen’s d=−.16, .02, and .00 for ANAM, DANA, and ImPACT, respectively; negative values reflect greater impairment in the mTBI group). Roughly a quarter of stability coefficients were over .70 across measures and test–retest intervals in controls. In contrast, concussion symptom score differentiated mTBI vs. control groups acutely), with this effect size diminished over time (72-hr and day 8, 15, and 45 Cohen’s d=−.78, −.60, −.49, and −.35, respectively). Conclusions: The CNTs evaluated, developed and widely used to assess sport-related concussion, did not yield significant differences between patients with mTBI versus other injuries. Symptom scores better differentiated groups than CNTs, with effect sizes weaker than those reported in sport-related concussion studies. Nonspecific injury factors, and other characteristics common in ED settings, likely affect CNT performance across trauma patients as a whole and thereby diminish the validity of CNTs for assessing mTBI in this patient population. (JINS, 2017, 23, 293–303)
Limited data exist comparing the performance of computerized neurocognitive tests (CNTs) for assessing sport-related concussion. We evaluated the reliability and validity of three CNTs—ANAM, Axon Sports/Cogstate Sport, and ImPACT—in a common sample. High school and collegiate athletes completed two CNTs each at baseline. Concussed (n=165) and matched non-injured control (n=166) subjects repeated testing within 24 hr and at 8, 15, and 45 days post-injury. Roughly a quarter of each CNT’s indices had stability coefficients (M=198 day interval) over .70. Group differences in performance were mostly moderate to large at 24 hr and small by day 8. The sensitivity of reliable change indices (RCIs) was best at 24 hr (67.8%, 60.3%, and 47.6% with one or more significant RCIs for ImPACT, Axon, and ANAM, respectively) but diminished to near the false positive rates thereafter. Across time, the CNTs’ sensitivities were highest in those athletes who became asymptomatic within 1 day before neurocognitive testing but was similar to the tests’ false positive rates when including athletes who became asymptomatic several days earlier. Test–retest reliability was similar among these three CNTs and below optimal standards for clinical use on many subtests. Analyses of group effect sizes, discrimination, and sensitivity and specificity suggested that the CNTs may add incrementally (beyond symptom scores) to the identification of clinical impairment within 24 hr of injury or within a short time period after symptom resolution but do not add significant value over symptom assessment later. The rapid clinical recovery course from concussion and modest stability probably jointly contribute to limited signal detection capabilities of neurocognitive tests outside a brief post-injury window. (JINS, 2016, 22, 24–37)
To study the natural recovery from sports concussion, 12 concussed high school football athletes and 12 matched uninjured teammates were evaluated with symptom rating scales, tests of postural balance and cognition, and an event-related fMRI study during performance of a load-dependent working memory task at 13 h and 7 weeks following injury. Injured athletes showed the expected postconcussive symptoms and cognitive decline with decreased reaction time (RT) and increased RT variability on a working memory task during the acute period and an apparent full recovery 7 weeks later. Brain activation patterns showed decreased activation of right hemisphere attentional networks in injured athletes relative to controls during the acute period with a reversed pattern of activation (injured > controls) in the same networks at 7 weeks following injury. These changes coincided with a decrease in self-reported postconcussive symptoms and improved cognitive test performance in the injured athletes. Results from this exploratory study suggest that decreased activation of right hemisphere attentional networks mediate the cognitive changes and postconcussion symptoms observed during the acute period following concussion. Conversely, improvement in cognitive functioning and postconcussive symptoms during the subacute period may be mediated by compensatory increases in activation of this same attentional network. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–10)
Sport-related concussion (SRC) is typically followed by clinical recovery within days, but reports of prolonged symptoms are common. We investigated the incidence of prolonged recovery in a large cohort (n = 18,531) of athlete seasons over a 10-year period. A total of 570 athletes with concussion (3.1%) and 166 controls who underwent pre-injury baseline assessments of symptoms, neurocognitive functioning and balance were re-assessed immediately, 3 hr, and 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 45 or 90 days after concussion. Concussed athletes were stratified into typical (within 7 days) or prolonged (> 7 days) recovery groups based on symptom recovery time. Ten percent of athletes (n = 57) had a prolonged symptom recovery, which was also associated with lengthier recovery on neurocognitive testing (p < .001). At 45–90 days post-injury, the prolonged recovery group reported elevated symptoms, without deficits on cognitive or balance testing. Prolonged recovery was associated with unconsciousness [odds ratio (OR), 4.15; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.12–8.15], posttraumatic amnesia (OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.00–3.28), and more severe acute symptoms (p < .0001). These results suggest that a small percentage of athletes may experience symptoms and functional impairments beyond the typical window of recovery after SRC, and that prolonged recovery is associated with acute indicators of more severe injury. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1–12)
Clinical decision making about an athlete's return to
competition after concussion is hampered by a lack of systematic
methods to measure recovery. We applied standard regression-based
methods to statistically measure individual rates of impairment at
several time points after concussion in college football players.
Postconcussive symptoms, cognitive functioning, and balance were
assessed in 94 players with concussion (based on American Academy of
Neurology Criteria) and 56 noninjured controls during preseason
baseline testing, and immediately, 3 hr, and 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 days
postinjury. Ninety-five percent of injured players exhibited acute
concussion symptoms and impairment on cognitive or balance testing
immediately after injury, which diminished to 4% who reported elevated
symptoms on postinjury day 7. In addition, a small but clinically
significant percentage of players who reported being symptom free by
day 2 continued to be classified as impaired on the basis of objective
balance and cognitive testing. These data suggest that
neuropsychological testing may be of incremental utility to subjective
symptom checklists in identifying the residual effects of sport-related
concussion. The implementation of neuropsychological testing to detect
subtle cognitive impairment is most useful once postconcussive symptoms
have resolved. This management model is also supported by practical and
other methodological considerations. (JINS, 2005, 11,
The following is a correction for an error that occurred in
the Journal of the International Neuropsychological
Society, Vol. 7, No. 6. The error occurred
in the article titled “Sensitivity and specificity of
standardized neurocognitive testing immediately following sports
concussion,” pp. 693–702, by Barr and McCrea. On
page 696, under the subheading “Test-Retest Reliability
and Reliable Change Cut-off Scores”, the confidence interval
in the third sentence should read “−2.21, +2.59”,
rather than “±2.59”.
Neuropsychology, with its emphasis on standardized and empirically
based methods, has made a number of scientific contributions
to address growing concerns about concussions resulting from
sports injuries. This study employs a test–retest paradigm
to determine the immediate effects of concussion in high-school
and college athletes. The Standardized Assessment of Concussion
(SAC) was administered to 1,313 male athletes prior to the
beginning of the competitive season. Reliable change indices
and multiple regression models were computed on retest scores
obtained from 68 noninjured athletes who were readministered
the SAC at either 60 or 120 days following baseline testing.
Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were
used to test these models with data obtained on 50 athletes
tested immediately following concussion. The results indicate
that a decline of 1 point on the SAC at retesting classified
injured and noninjured participants with a level of 94% sensitivity
and 76% specificity. The RCI and multiple regression models
provided comparable levels of group classification, but provided
cut-offs that are conservative for use with this population.
The results support and extend previous research findings
indicating that the SAC is a valid instrument for detecting
the immediate effects of mild traumatic brain injury.
(JINS, 2001, 7, 693–702.)
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.