Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Study Spotlight: Vision Testing an Effective Tool for Detecting Concussion on the Sidelines

The King-Devick Test is a simple yet highly effective way to assess a concussion.  It works by testing each athlete at the beginning of the year to establish their baseline.  The participant reads a string of numbers as fast as they can and it is timed and recorded.  Studies have shown that people not suffering from concussion actually improve their score throughout the year on average by 1.9 seconds.  People that do suffer a concussion on average slow down in their performance on the test by 4.8 seconds.

What They Did: 
This was a review of multiple studies looking at the use of a vision test in the assessment of a concussion.  They reviewed 1420 people in which 112 had suffered a concussion and looked at how accurate using just a vision test can be in assessing a concussion.

What They Found:  
They found that utilizing just the King-Devick Test by itself correctly identified 86% of concussions (as confirmed later by medical examination).  Along with this they found that when standards SCAT/SAC concussion testing and balance testing were included in the examination that 100% of concussions were properly assessed.

What It All Means:
86% of concussions assessed correctly sounds either really good or not great because we are still missing some assessments and obviously that brings about concern. That doesn't mean the King-Devick test is not a useful tool.  While the everyday person shouldn't be out assessing concussions and utilizing a lot of the concussion assessment tools, the King-Device is simple and now shown to be effective as an initial screening for athletes.  This could be extremely useful for younger sports leagues where medical personnel aren't readily available.  This is a simple and effective test could be done by parents and coaches to help identify concussions in younger athletes and do so at a very effective rate.

King-Device Test

Vision Testing for Detecting Concussion

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