The assessment of orientation following concussion in athletes

Clin J Sport Med. 1995;5(1):32-5. doi: 10.1097/00042752-199501000-00006.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the sensitivity of orientation and recent memory questions in the diagnosis of concussion. In a prospective study over 7 consecutive years (1985-1991), all players at a professional Australian Rules Football club who sustained a concussive injury (n = 28) were administered a set of questions evaluating orientation and recent memory. Concussion was diagnosed independently on the basis of loss or disturbance of consciousness and clinical symptoms. A control group of age-matched nonconcussed players was administered the same set of questions. The results showed that items evaluating recently acquired information were more sensitive in the assessment of concussion than standard orientation items. The relative sensitivity of orientation questions must be considered when they are used in the clinical diagnosis of concussion in sport.

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Facial Expression
  • Football / injuries*
  • Gait
  • Headache / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Memory*
  • Orientation*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Unconsciousness / diagnosis
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis