Objective To establish baseline normative concussion data for Canadian Football League (CFL) players.
Setting Professional American football.
Participants 596 male professional football players from the 2014 CFL season. All asymptomatic players were included in the study. Players with a diagnosis of concussion were excluded.
Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors) Data from the baseline SCAT3 assessments was collected and analysed to determine the prevalence and severity of symptoms on the symptom evaluation and average values for the cognitive and physical examination.
Outcome measures Analysis of SCAT3 categories.
Main results 47.4% players had a previous concussion with symptoms lasting 6.28 (22.9)* days on average. Athletes reported 1.09 (2.13) symptoms with a total symptom score of 1.86 (4.09). The most frequently reported symptoms were nervousness/anxiety (11.9%), trouble falling asleep (11.2%), fatigue (11.2%), sensitivity to light (9.1%), and neck pain (7.7%). Scores for orientation, immediate memory, concentration, and delayed recall were 4.89 (0.35), 14.25 (1.23), 3.75 (1.16), and 3.79 (1.13) respectively. Balance testing revealed 0.02 (0.13), 1.91 (2.00), and 0.92 (1.36) errors on double leg, single leg, and tandem stance respectively. * parentheses indicate 1 standard deviation from the mean.
Conclusions There are abnormalities on baseline SCAT3 testing of asymptomatic CFL players. This is consistent with past studies of similar athletic populations. This is expected as not all SCAT3 symptoms are specific for the diagnosis of concussion. Future research could be done to see if athletes who fall outside of the normative baseline values have different outcomes post concussion.
Competing interests None.