The paper’s lead author, Jacob Resch, assistant professor in UT Arlington’s College of Education and Health Professions and director of the UT Arlington Brain Injury Laboratory, says his team’s study reaffirms past findings about the ImPACT, and highlights the need to employ multiple types of concussion assessments such as balance testing and thorough clinical examinations.
The Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) assesses the concussed individual through a neuropsychological perspective, using tests and retests that monitor recovery from the concussion. For this study, the team included 91 subjects aged 19-24, and sorted them into two groups.
The researchers discovered that the ImPACT’s retests classified healthy participants as impaired 22-46 percent of the time, with the visual and verbal tests being the most unreliable bases. This assessment tool’s tendency for error makes it important for both professional as well as school settings to make use of other means of assessing a concussion, instead of relying on the ImPACT as a one-step solution in an ideally multi-phased assessment protocol.
Entitled, “ImPact Test-Retest Reliability: Reliably Unreliable?”, the research is available online May 31 in the Journal of Athletic Training.
Access the full report here.