Princeton, New Jersey. The Sports Concussion Center of New Jersey at RSM Psychology Center (SCCNJ) is pleased to announce the release of the Sports Neuropsychology Society (SNS) official Position Statement in response to the increasing concern of unsupervised baseline and post-concussion neuropsychological testing in youth sports.
The Position Statement asserts “…the administration of clinical tests, including computerized concussion baseline testing, should be supervised by a trained healthcare professional. Supervision of test administration by an appropriately trained healthcare professional is necessary when using any neuropsychological test, including those administered by computer, to ensure validity of results and comply with long established test standards and ethical guidelines for practice.”
Dr. Rosemarie Scolaro Moser, neuropsychologist and director of SCCNJ, helped to craft the Position Statement, commenting, “Baseline and post-concussion neuropsychological tests measure important brain functions. We are concerned when these tests are given under conditions that are not supervised by health care professionals who are experts in brain-behavior processes.” Dr. Moser serves at the Chair of the SNS Sports Neuropsychology Action and Professional Practice Committee.
Neuropsychological tests that are typically used in sports are brief, computerized screening examinations that athletes at the youth, adult, amateur, and professional levels take during the pre-season, before a concussion occurs. For those athletes who sustain a concussion, the tests are re-administered post-injury and the results are compared to pre-injury “baseline” test results. In addition to most professional sports, many high schools, colleges, and local youth community leagues across the country are routinely administering baseline neuropsychological testing.
If the tests are not properly administered, the results can be invalid for later comparison or for helping to determine if an athlete has recovered. Dr. Gerry Gioia, president of SNS explained, “As an organization, we want to advocate strongly for best practices for the athletes we serve. Appropriately supervised test administration and interpretation, whether it is a pre-injury baseline test or a post-injury test is essential.” A copy of the complete Position Statement can be found at http://www.sportsneuropsychologysociety.com/resources-and-publications/
The Sports Concussion Center of New Jersey at RSM Psychology Center, located in Princeton, New Jersey, provides comprehensive neuropsychological services, baseline and post-injury testing, and treatment for concussion and traumatic brain injury, working with professional, amateur, young adult and youth athletes, as well as schools, teams, and sports organizations. It’s motto: Love your brain…Love your sport!