Between-seasons test-retest reliability of clinically measured reaction time in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I athletes

Abstract: Context: Reaction time is typically impaired after concussion. A clinical test of reaction time (RTclin) that does not require a computer to administer may be a valuable tool to assist in concussion diagnosis and management. Objective: To determine the test-retest reliability of RTclinmeasured over successive seasons in competitive collegiate athletes and to compare these results with a computerized measure of reaction time (RTcomp). Design: Case series with repeated measures. Setting: Preparticipation physical examinations for the football, women's soccer, and wrestling teams at a single university. Patients or Other Participants: 102 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I athletes. Intervention(s): The RTclin was measured using a measuring stick embedded in a weighted rubber disk that was released and caught as quickly as possible. The RTcomp was measured using the simple reaction time component of CogState Sport. Main Outcome Measure(s): Data were collected at 2 time points, 1 season apart, during preparticipation physical examinations. Outcomes were mean simple RTclin and RTcomp. Results: The intraclass correlation coefficient estimates from season 1 to season 2 were 0.645 for RTclin (n = 102, entire sample) and 0.512 for RTcomp (n = 62 athletes who had 2 consecutive valid baseline CogState Sport test sessions). Conclusions: The test-retest reliability of RTclin over consecutive seasons compared favorably with that of a concurrently tested computerized measure of reaction time and with literature-based estimates of computerized reaction time measures. This finding supports the potential use of RTclin as part of a multifaceted concussion assessment battery. Further prospective study is warranted.
© Copyright 2011 Journal of Athletic Training. National Athletic Trainers' Association. All rights reserved.

Subjects: reaction reaction speed test
Notations: training science
Published in: Journal of Athletic Training
Published: 2011
Volume: 46
Issue: 4
Pages: 409-414
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced