Research Paper Critique

Becky Gunn RN
Concussions and Neurocognitive Performance
Covassin, T., Stearne, D., & Elbin III, R. (2008, April). Concussion history and postconcussion neurocognitive performance and symptoms in collegiate athletes. Journal of Athletic Training, 43(2), 119-124. Retrieved from
This article discusses that athletes are at an inherent risk for sustaining concussions. Research examining the long-term consequences of sport related concussion has been inconsistent in demonstrating lingering neurocognitive decrements that may be associated with a previous history of concussion. The main objective was to determine the relationship between concussion history and postconcussion neurocognitive performance and symptoms in college athletes. They used a repeated-measure design in a multi-center analysis of college athletes. Fifty-seven concussed college athletes were the subjects of the study, (36 with no concussion history and 21 with a history of 2 or more).   All subjects were administered an Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) neurocognitive test battery, which measures verbal memory, visual memory, reaction time, and visual processing speed and 22 concussion symptoms.   Subjects who sustained a concussion were administered 2 follow-up tests at days 1 and 5 post injury. The independent variables were history of concussion and time.   The results   showed that athletes with a history of concussion performed significantly worse on verbal   memory and reaction time at day   5 postconcussion as compared to athletes who did not report a previous concussion.   The conclusion was that concussed collegiate athletes with a history of 2 or more concussions took longer to recover verbal memory and reaction time than athletes without a history of concussion. The authors determined that more study was warranted looking at sex differences and concussion history as well as looking at the time of year of previous concussions and how...