Concussion Testing and Tools

Due to the increased incidence and inherent dangers of concussion in sport, computerised concussion testing is now integral part of player management. The Sports Concussion Programme is committed to complete concussion care: developing a range of simple, effective, easy to use concussion tests that can be accessed on mobile devices.

The Sports Concussion Programme’s Sideline Concussion Tests

To enable fast, efficient and accurate diagnoses of concussion, we have developed concussion testing tools that are accessible and easy to use.

The range currently comprises:

  • Wallet Key Card:  simple, user-friendly concussion questions testing memory that are printed on the one side of the card for easy access. The list of warning signs for structural serious brain injury are printed on the other side.
  • FirstResponder™ App: a free to download mobile app based on a yes/no touchscreen response.

Computerised brain function testing which includes:

  • The Cogstate Baseline Test: a pre-season screening test that measures baseline reaction time and memory, which can be used in conjunction with the Cogstate After Injury test following a suspected concussion.
  • The Cogstate After Injury Test: a computerised brain function test for application after concussion or suspected concussion once symptoms are reduced or are no longer apparent.

How does concussion testing work?

A baseline computerised test is a brain function assessment tool that is routinely used to establish normal thinking ability in an athlete pre-season. In the event of a suspected concussion the results of a baseline test are compared to the results of an after-injury brain function test to assist in a preliminary diagnosis and to establish whether athletes have any features of delayed brain function recovery.

The comparative data, together with the patient history, signs of concussion, neurological examination and balance testing is used to assist in diagnosis and to make an informed Back-To-School and return to play decision.

A computerised baseline test typically evaluates the athlete’s:

  • Simple reaction time
  • Learning and memory skills.
  • Ability to pay attention or concentrate.
  • Problem solving capacity.

Benefits of Computerised Concussion Testing

Computerised concussion tests offer a number of benefits, including:

  • Readily accessible and affordable.
  • A useful screening test of brain function.
  • Easy to administer and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
  • Detects when impaired brain function lags behind complete subjective symptom recovery.
  • Can detect if cognitive decline occurs in players with previous concussions.
  • Identifies players with significant cognitive deficit or delayed brain function recovery who need formal neuropsychological testing.
  • Can be of medico-legal support in any concussion case review.

Download our free FirstResponder App now.