Pilot evaluation of a novel clinical test of reaction time in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I football players

Context: Evidence suggests that concussion prolongs reaction time (RT). We have developed a simple, reliable clinical tool for measuring reaction time that may be of value in the assessment of concussion in athletes. Objective: To compare baseline values of clinical RT (RTclin) obtained using the new clinical reaction time apparatus with computerized RT (RTcomp) obtained using a validated computerized neuropsychological test battery. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Data were collected during a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I collegiate football team's preparticipation physical examination session. Patients or Other Participants: Ninety-four Division I collegiate football players. Main Outcome Measure(s): The RTclin was measured using a 1.3-m measuring stick embedded in a weighted rubber disk that was released and caught as quickly as possible. The RTcomp was measured using the simple RT component of CogState Sport. Results: For the 68 athletes whose CogState Sport tests passed the program's integrity check, RTclin and RTcomp were correlated (r ?=? 0.445, P < .001). Overall, mean RTclin was shorter and less variable than mean RTcomp (203 ± 20 milliseconds versus 268 ± 44 milliseconds; P < .001). When RTclin and RTcomp were compared between those athletes with (n ?=? 68) and those without (n ?=? 26) valid CogState Sport test sessions, mean RTclin was similar (202 ± 19 milliseconds versus 207 ± 23 milliseconds; P ?=? .390), but mean RTcomp was different (258 ± 35 milliseconds versus 290 ± 55 milliseconds; P ?=? .009). Conclusions: The RTclin was positively correlated with RTcomp and yielded more consistent reaction time values during baseline testing. Given that RTclin is easy to measure using simple, inexpensive equipment, further prospective study is warranted to determine its clinical utility in the assessment of concussion in athletes.
© Copyright 2010 Journal of Athletic Training. National Athletic Trainers' Association. All rights reserved.

Subjects: sports game American football soccer reaction reaction speed test injury head
Notations: sport games
Tagging: Gehirnerschütterung
DOI: 10.4085/1062-6050-45.4.327
Published in: Journal of Athletic Training
Published: 2010
Volume: 45
Issue: 4
Pages: 327-332
Document types: article
electronical journal
Language: English
Level: advanced