Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Hoelzle, James B.

Second Advisor

Nelson, Lindsay D.

Third Advisor

Nielson, Kristy

Abstract

It is well documented that healthy individuals routinely obtain impaired scores on neuropsychological tests, which confounds the differential diagnosis process. Relatively little is known regarding the rates at which healthy individuals obtain impaired scores on measures that are used to detect cognitive symptoms associated with sports related concussion (SRC). The current study generated expected rates of impaired performance on the Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC), the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics Sports Battery (ANAM), Immediate Post-Concussion and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT), and Axon Sports (Axon) neurocognitive measures by conducting Monte Carlo analyses using data obtained from a large normative sample of amateur athletes. Consistent with a broad literature, approximately 20% of a non-injured sample would obtain at least one impaired score on these neurocognitive measures. Further, actual rates of impaired performance on the respective measures were investigated by stratifying an additional sample by estimated intellectual ability. Individuals with Above Average intellectual ability achieved impaired scores at a lower rate than individuals with Below Average intellectual functioning. This study elucidates the psychometric properties of commonly-used concussion screeners and should be considered when making return-to-play decisions.

Available for download on Thursday, May 10, 2018

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