Concussion Assessment Tools

Which one is the best?

There are more and more concussion assessment tools and devices emerging as more research and funding is being spent towards concussion prevention and management, specifically in relation to sports-related concussions. Health practitioners are looking for a quick and reliable concussion test for sideline use. Devices like Abott’s i-STAT™ Alinity™ handheld device that measures blood proteins thought to be associated with head trauma (Sattar, 2021) and the Riddel SpeedFlex helmet, a smart helmet that alerts medical staff of notable impact, are gaining interest (Willick, 2019). Although there are new innovative technologies emerging, the most common tests employed have been around for more than a decade. The Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) was first developed in 2005 and has since been revised 5 times (Yengo-Kahn et al., 2016). The Romberg test for balance has been used clinically for 150 years (Reicke, 1992). Between the new and the old, is there truly a gold standard for concussion testing? Below is a table compiled of the most common and well tested concussion assessment tools. Although some maybe more sensitive or specific than others, they’re advantages and disadvantages with all. Therefore, as research has highlighted, the most effective tool is a multi-faceted one; a combination of a variety of tests, so that different systems affected by concussion can be assessed (Dessy et al., 2017). This is important to remember as companies continue to produce newer technologies.  

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