The Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT ), was developed at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center – Center for Sports Medicine and is the most widely used and one of the most successful computerized neurocognitive test to help evaluate and manage concussions.
ImPACT is broken down into two evaluations – The Baseline evaluation and the Post- Injury Test. The combined results of these two tests are what are used to accurately demine concussions and their severity.
The baseline test is a test that is given to the student-athlete at the beginning of the school year or start of the sports season. The purpose of this test is to provide a basic standard or level of the student’s normal cognitive function in every day circumstances. The test is can be administered by a medical professional such as a doctor, nurse, or athletic trainer, or by a non-medical professional like the coach or athletic director. The test is taken online and the results are then stored on a HIPPA compliant server, and can be retrieved at any time.
The second test for ImPACT is the Post-Injury Test. Once an athlete is suspected of a having concussion, the Post-Injury Test is administered. The test is given once the patient is symptom free, or between 24 and 72 hours after the injury. The scores of the Post-Injury Test are then compared to the baseline test, which will then determine if there is a concussion, and the severity.
ImPACT measures basic cognitive function such as memory, attention span, reaction time and non-verbal problem solving. The test is then able to record how severe the concussion is (22 symptoms) using the 7-point Likert Scale and then produce a report with the test results.
Organizations that currently use ImPACT are the NFL, NBA, NHA, and MLB.
ImPACT “The ImPACT Test,” ImPACT Applications, Inc (2016). [Link]
Nebraska Sports Concussion Network, “Sports- Related Concussion Testing and ImPACT Testing Program.” [Link]