Youths Most At Risk From Failed Concussion Baseline Tests

A study published by the Sports-related Concussion Centre at the University of Windsor is raising big concerns over testing of youths.

The study led by Psychology Professor Dr. Chris Abeare looked at the validity of baseline testing for athletes aged 10 to 21.

The baseline is used to assess the impact of an athlete's concussion directly after it has happened.

He says they have four algorithms to assess how accurate the baseline testing is.

Abeare says out of close to 8000 athletes tested, almost 56% failed at least one of the validity tests.

"In the youngest age groups, the rates of invalid performance were alarmingly high.  Based on these four different measures we tested out, as many as 84% of 10 year olds failed at least one of them," he says. "Meaning there's a little casting doubt on whether or not they're actually putting forth their best performance"

He says most concerning is that the youngest age group is the most vulnerable group of having a concession.

Abeare emphasizes this is not the same scenario as professional athletes who intentionally skew their baseline tests.

"It's not likely the case they are intentionally trying to under perform.  It's extremely unlikely that's the case.  What is most likely is that if you've ever met a kid that's that age they just don't care about it, they're not interested it's boring.  They just don't see the value of putting forth all their effort which is you know difficult to exert your effort for a prolonged period of time"

Abeare says they'll use the results of their study to determine if the kinds of testing used is valid for the younger age group.