BACKGROUND: The Sport Concussion Assessment Tool version 3 (SCAT3) and its child version (ChildSCAT3) are composite physical and neuropsychological scoring systems used to assess athletes after sport-related concussion. Based on limited validation data, we aimed to evaluate the ability of SCAT3 and ChildSCAT3 to differentiate children aged 5 to 16 years with concussion from controls.
METHODS: Prospective observational study of children in the emergency department with concussion (CONC group) and 2 control groups ( upper-limb injury [ULI] and  Well children) with equal-sized subgroups in 3 age bands of 5 to 8, 9 to 12, and 13 to 16 years. ChildSCAT3 was used for participants aged 5 to 12 years, and SCAT3 was used for participants aged 13 to 16 years. Differences between study groups were analyzed by using analysis of variance models, adjusting for age and sex.
RESULTS: We enrolled 264 children (90 CONC, 90 ULI, and 84 Well) in equal-sized age bands. The number and severity of child- and parent-reported symptom scores were significantly higher in the CONC group than either control group (P < .001). Mean double (ChildSCAT3 P < .001) and tandem stance errors (both P ≤ .01) were also significantly higher, and immediate memory was significantly lower for the CONC group (P < .01). No statistically significant group differences were found for orientation and digit backward tasks. There were no significant differences between ULI and Well control groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, SCAT3 and ChildSCAT3 can differentiate concussed from nonconcussed patients, particularly in symptom number and severity.
- Accepted May 16, 2017.
- Copyright © 2017 by the American Academy of Pediatrics