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Journal Article


Black AM, Miutz LN, Kv VW, Schneider KJ, Yeates KO, Emery CA. J. Athl. Train. 2020; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada.


(Copyright © 2020, National Athletic Trainers' Association (USA))






CONTEXT: Version 5 of the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT5) was released in 2017 with an additional 10-word list option in the memory section and additional instructions for completing the symptom scale.

OBJECTIVE: To provide reference scores for high school rugby union players on the SCAT5, including immediate memory using the 10-word list, and examine how age, sex, and concussion history affected performance.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Calgary, Alberta high schools. PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: High school rugby union players (ages 15-18 years) participating in a 2018 season cohort study (n = 380, males = 210, females = 170). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 5 scores, including total number of symptoms (of 20), symptom severity (of 132), 10-word immediate memory (of 30), delayed memory (of 10), modified Standardized Assessment of Concussion (of 50), and balance examination (of 30).

RESULTS: The median number of symptoms reported at baseline ranged from 5 to 8 across sex and age stratifications. Median symptom severity was lowest in males with no concussion history (7; range, 0-28) and highest in females with a concussion history (13, range = 0-45). Median total scores on immediate memory were 2-3 (range = 0-4) for males and 21 (range = 9-29) for females. Median total scores were 3 (range = 0-4) on digits backward and 7 (range = 0-20) on delayed memory (all groups). Based on simultaneous quantile (q) regression at 0.50 and 0.75, adjusted for age and concussion history, being female was associated with a higher total symptoms score (q0.75 βfemale = 2.85; 99% confidence interval [CI] = 0.33, 5.37), higher total symptom severity score (q0.75 βfemale = 8.00; 99% CI = 2.83, 13.17), and lower number of errors on the balance examination (q0.75 βfemale = -3.00; 99% CI = -4.85, -1.15). Age and concussion history were not associated with any summary measures.

CONCLUSIONS: The 10-word list option in the memory section reduced the likelihood of a ceiling effect. A player's sex may be an important consideration when interpreting the SCAT5 after concussion.

Language: en


mild traumatic brain injuries; rugby union; student-athletes


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