Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Elbin, Robert J.

Reader

Gray, Michelle

Second Reader

Fort, Inza

Abstract

Abstract Background: Sport-related concussion (SRC) continues be a hot topic in sports medicine. Computerized Neurocognitive Testing (CNT) provides researchers and sports medicine professionals an objective way to manage SRC. Administering CNT comes at the convenience of the student athlete and the sports medicine professional working at the school, which usually results in CNT being administered in the afternoon, or after school. However, little is known how the cognitive fatigue of attending a full day of school influences CNT performance. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare before school CNT performance to after school CNT performance in a sample of non-concussed high school student athletes. An exploratory question was posed to evaluate the frequency of chronotypes in a sample of non-concussed high school athletes. Study Design: A posttest only, non-equivalent groups design was used for the study. Methods: There were 31 high school athletes who completed the computerized baseline neurocognitive test. Thirteen athletes completed the test in the morning (before school) and 18 athletes completed the test in the afternoon (after school). Means comparisons for neurocognitive performance were evaluated between the two groups. An independent samples t-test was used to compare the mean ImPACT scores of the two groups and a statistical significance was set at a Bonferroni-corrected p < .05. The Morningness/Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ-SA) was administered to thirteen athletes in the morning (before school) testing session. A frequency table was constructed to compare athletes’ specific chronotypes in the morning testing session. Results: Results from an independent-samples t-test revealed similar performance on verbal memory (t(29) = -1.02, p = .31), visual memory (t(29) = 1.01, p = .32), motor processing speed (t(29) = 0.007, p = .994), reaction time (t(29) = -0.58, p = .57), or total symptom scores (t(29) = -1.53, p = .14) between the two groups. A frequency table was constructed to compare chronotypes in sample of non-concussed high school student athletes. Discussion: The results of this study suggest that completing a computerized neurocognitive test in the morning (before school) or in the afternoon (after school) does not influence performance.

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