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Developing common demographic data elements to include in future editions of the SCAT and Child SCAT: a modified international Delphi study
  1. Maxine J Shanks1,
  2. Paul McCrory2,
  3. Gavin A Davis2,3,
  4. Ruben J Echemendia4,
  5. Andrew R Gray5,
  6. S John Sullivan1
  1. 1Centre for Health, Activity and Rehabilitation Research, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  2. 2The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3Department of Neurosurgery, Austin and Cambrini Hospitals, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4University Orthopedic Center, Concussion Care Clinic, State College, Pennsylvania, USA
  5. 5Centre for Biostatistics, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Professor S John Sullivan, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, 9054, New Zealand; sjohn.sullivan{at}otago.ac.nz

Abstract

Background The Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) and Child SCAT are the ‘gold standard’ assessment tools for a suspected sport-related concussion (SRC). A number of ‘modifiers’ (eg, previous history of concussion) of a SRC have been identified. These may influence how the SCAT/Child SCAT results should be interpreted.

Objectives To achieve consensus, via an international panel of SRC experts, on which athlete/player and parent/caregiver demographic variables should be considered for inclusion in future editions of the SCAT/Child SCAT respectively.

Methods A two-round modified Delphi technique, overseen by a steering committee, invited 41 panellists to achieve expert consensus (≥80% agreement). The first round utilised open questions to generate demographic variables; the second round used a five-point ordinal item to rank the importance of including each variable in future editions of the SCAT/Child SCAT.

Results 15 experts participated in at least one Delphi round. 29 athlete/player and eight parent/caregiver variables reached consensus for inclusion in the SCAT, whereas two parent/caregiver variables reached consensus for exclusion. 28 athlete/player and four parent/caregiver variables reached consensus for the Child SCAT, whereas two parent/caregiver variables reached consensus for exclusion. Key categories of variables included the following: concussion/sport details, personal medical conditions and family medical history.

Conclusion This study provides a list of athlete/player and parent/caregiver demographic variables that should be considered in future revisions of the SCAT/Child SCAT. By considering (and ultimately likely including) a wider and standard set of additional demographic variables, the Concussion in Sport experts will be able to provide clinicians and researchers with data that may enhance interpretation of the individual’s data and the building of larger datasets.

  • concussion
  • consensus
  • sporting injuries
  • methodology
  • sports and exercise medicine
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Footnotes

  • Contributors The study was conceived by SJS in conjunction with PM and conducted as part of a BPhty honours thesis at the University of Otago by the primary author (MJS) with ongoing input from steering committee members (SJS, PM, ARG, GAD and RJE). The steering committee oversaw the study, developed the questions and analysed the data. The manuscript was drafted by MJS and SJS and reviewed by PM, ARG, GAD and RJE and all authors approved the final version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests Professor John Sullivan was a member of the group which generated the recent revision of the SCAT tool (SCAT5©). Associate Professor Paul McCrory is the co-chair of the International Concussion in Sport Group, was the original co-author of the SCAT tool in 2004 and has been involved in all subsequent iterations of the tools. Dr Gavin Davis is a member of the International Concussion in Sport Group, and was actively involved in the development of the SCAT5© and chaired the group which produced the Child SCAT5©. Dr Ruben Echemendia chaired the group which produced the SCAT5©.

  • Patient and public involvement statement Neither patients nor the public were involved in any stage of the study.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study was conducted with the approval of the University of Otago Human Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement No data are available.

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