Normative values for three clinical measures of motor performance used in the neurological assessment of sports concussion

J Sci Med Sport. 2010 Mar;13(2):196-201. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2009.05.004. Epub 2009 Jun 27.


Postural control and motor coordination are essential components of normal athletic activity. Tasks involving balance and coordination are used to determine neurological function in sports-related concussion. Determining normative values for these tasks is therefore essential to provide sports medicine professionals with a frame of reference with which to interpret clinical measures obtained from players suspected of sustaining a concussion. One hundred and seventytwo healthy subjects (16-37 yrs) performed three timed tests: Tandem Gait (TG); Finger-to-Nose (FTN); Single-Leg-Stance (SLS) on firm and foam surfaces. Unadjusted geometric means (+/-SD) for each measure were averaged across three trials. Time to complete TG was 11.2+/-1.2s. FTN for the dominant and non-dominant arm were 2.9+/-1.1s and 3.0+/-1.2s, respectively. SLS values for dominant and non-dominant leg were 20.4+/-3.0s (firm), 3.4+/-1.6s (foam), and 21.0+/-2.9s (firm), 3.3+/-1.6s (foam), respectively. For TG, there was an order effect (P<.001) but no age, sex or BMI effects. FTN demonstrated a dominant arm preference (P<.001), sex (P=.006), BMI (P=.043) and order effects (P<.001). SLS demonstrated an order effect on the firm surface (P=.009) and an order (P<.001) and BMI (P=.001) effect on foam. Intra-rater reliability, as measured by ICC (3,3), demonstrated that TG and FTN had excellent reliability compared to SLS. FTN and TG should continue to be used in test batteries to determine neurological function in sports-related concussion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Neurological / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Young Adult