Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Lee Weidauer


adolescent, concussion, ImPACT


Concussions represent a serious public health concern due to their severe short and long-term consequences. Many adolescents participate in sports that involve the chance of injuries such as concussions. Concussive injuries can be difficult to describe because most symptoms involve non-physical indicators such as impaired cognition, altered behavior, or sleep disturbances. Symptoms can also be influenced by age, gender, and previous history of concussions. Current best practice is to remove the athlete from activity and perform several tests to critically evaluate and assess the injury. ImPACT is a type of neuropsychological testing that includes patient information, baseline tests, postinjury assessments, self-reported symptomology, and history of previous concussions. The objective of this study is to observe prevalence and incidence of concussions in high school student athletes using ImPACT. Composite scores were also compared at baseline, 24-72 hours post injury, and 7 days post injury reported overall and by gender stratification. Prospective cohort study was performed to observe concussion rates in rural adolescent using ImPACT profiles. ImPACT identified 3,224 participants in this study and completed annual baseline testing and self-reported histories of concussions. Concussions described in the present study were recognized by certified athletic trainer who performed follow-up assessments at 24-72 hours post-injury and reassessed at 7 days post-injury. Baseline data, 24-72-hour post-injury, and 7 days post-injury were compared using repeated measures analysis of variance with post-hoc testing using a Bonferroni adjustment for multiple comparisons. Overall and gender-stratified ImPACT composite scores indicated fluctuations in scores starting at baseline, decreasing at 24-72 hours post, and then rising to just about baseline scores at 7-days post. The prevalence rate of concussions among this population of adolescents was 13% with American football reporting the most concussions. ImPACT composite scores did not vary significantly among genders but there is individual composite score differences. ImPACT can provide a patient history of concussions and track progression of recovery. More research is needed to better understand outcomes and severity of adolescent concussions.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Brain -- Concussion -- Diagnosis.
High school athletes -- Wounds and injuries.
Sports injuries -- Diagnosis.
Neuropsychological tests.
Cognition -- Testing.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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