Background Concussion is a global sport injury, however, in Africa this public health concern has yet to be studied. Currently, there are no concussion management programs implementing baseline or post-concussion measures among football clubs in the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ). Furthermore, it is unknown if tests such as the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (ImPACT) Quick Test (QT) would be culturally appropriate measures for implementation as part of a concussion screening protocol in Zambia or other African nations.
Objective To determine baseline neurocognitive percentile ranks among Zambian football athletes on the ImPACT QT.
Design Cohort study.
Setting Premiere league football clubs based in Lusaka, Zambia.
Patients (or Participants) Male premier league football athletes from Zambia (n=119) aged 24.48±5.41.
Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors) The ImPACT QT (5–7min) neurocognitive assessment administered on an iOS/Apple iPad prior to a preseason team practice.
Main Outcome Measurements Outcome measures were average performance on 3 factor scores: Motor Speed, Memory, and Attention Tracker, presented as percentile ranks using normative data built-into the ImPACT QT.
Results Zambian athletes scored nearly two standard deviations below the mean on Motor Speed (7th percentile), when compared to North American normative data. However, performance on Attention Tracker (44th percentile) and Memory (56th percentile) among Zambian athletes was well within the average range.
Conclusions This data is the first to explore Zambian athletes’ performance on any concussion measure. Zambian athletes performed poorly on the ImPACT QT factor score related to motor speed. These results suggest that Zambian athletes may be unfamilar with testing on an iPad device or there may have been cultural barriers in the interpretation of test directions. Further, understanding these preliminary performance measures are a starting point that could aid in understanding which concussion measures would be culturally appropriate to implement in the prevention, diagnosis, and care of concussion among Zambian athletes.
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