Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Elbin, R.J.

Reader

Gray, Michelle

Second Reader

McDermott, Brendon

Abstract

Examining College Student Athlete Attitudes and Behaviors Toward Baseline Neurocognitive Concussion Testing

FryK, Anderson, M, Anderson, M, Schatz, P, Elbin, RJ: University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Context: Examining athletes’ attitudes toward concussion diagnosis, management, and treatment can lead to improved multi-faceted management of a concussion injury. Although attitudes towards concussion injuries have been studied, the examination of athletes’ attitudes towards baseline computerized neurocognitive testing is understudied and is warranted. Objective: To examine the relationship between sex, concussion history, and previous exposure to baseline testing on athletes’ perceptions of effort provided during baseline testing and the utility of neurocognitive testing. Methods: College athletes (18-23 years) completing a baseline neurocognitive test (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test: ImPACT) were asked to complete an anonymous 33-item online survey. Survey questions included demographics and inquired about athletes’ effort and utility of baseline and post-concussion neurocognitive testing. A series of chi-square analyses measured the association between sex, concussion history, and previous exposure to baseline testing on effort provided during testing and utility of the test. Level of statistical significance was p < .05. Results: One hundred eighty-two (88 males, 95 females) athletes (M =19.05, SD = 1.15 years) completed the survey. Thirty-eight percent (70/183) reported prior concussion history and 27% (50/182) were first time test takers. Ninety-four percent (172/183) reported providing above average to maximal effort on the baseline test they completed prior to completing the survey. Ninety percent (158/176) and 87% (156/179) of the sample reported that the baseline and post-concussion test results were useful in mitigating premature return to play, respectively. There was no association between sex, concussion history, or previous exposure to baseline testing on reported effort or perceptions of utility for baseline neurocognitive testing (p > .05). Conclusion: The majority of athletes report high effort on baseline neurocognitive testing and recognize the utility of this measure for safe return to play.

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