Background: To improve and standardize the sideline evaluation of sports-related concussion, the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (SCAT2) was developed. This tool assesses concussion-related signs and symptoms, cognition, balance, and coordination. This newly published assessment tool has not established representative baseline data on adolescent athletes.
Hypothesis: Representative baseline SCAT2 scores in adolescent athletes will differ by gender, grade in school, and self-reported concussion history.
Study design: Descriptive epidemiology study.
Methods: Interscholastic athletes were administered the SCAT2 during a preseason concussion baseline testing session. The SCAT2 total score ranges from 0 to 100 points, with lower scores indicating poorer performance. Overall, representative values were calculated using descriptive statistics. Separate independent-samples t tests, with gender and concussion history as the independent variables, and a 1-way analysis of variance, with grade as the independent variable, were conducted to assess differences in SCAT2 total score (P < .05).
Results: There were 1134 high school athletes (872 male and 262 female) who participated. The SCAT2 total score across all participants was 88.3 ± 6.8 (range, 58-100); skewness was -0.86 ± 0.07, and kurtosis was 0.73 ± 0.14. Male athletes scored significantly lower on the SCAT2 total score (P = .03; 87.7 ± 6.8 vs 88.7 ± 6.8), and 9th graders (86.9 ± 6.8) scored significantly lower than 11th (88.7 ± 7.0) and 12th (89.0 ± 6.6) graders (P < .001). Athletes with a self-reported concussion history scored significantly lower on the SCAT2 total score than those with no concussion history (P < .001; 87.0 ± 6.8 vs 88.7 ± 6.5).
Conclusion: These data provide representative scores on the SCAT2 in adolescent athletes and show that male athletes, 9th graders, and those with a self-reported concussion history scored significantly lower than their female, upperclassmen, or nonconcussed peers.
Clinical relevance: These results suggest that healthy adolescent athletes display variability on the SCAT2 at baseline. Therefore, clinicians should administer baseline assessments of the SCAT2 because assuming a perfect baseline score of 100 points is not appropriate in an adolescent athlete population.