King-Devick Test, a Rapid Sideline Screening Test, Accurately Identifies Unrecognized and Unreported Concussions in Minutes
Concussion detection increases ten-fold compared to
previously reported concussion injury rates in rugby league
CHICAGO, February 1, 2013 – A rapid sideline screening test was able to accurately identify athletes who had not shown, or reported, any signs or symptoms of concussion but who had meaningful head injury, according to researchers from the Sports Performance Research Institute in New Zealand. The King-Devick Test detected 17 unrecognized and unreported concussive incidents and 5 witnessed concussions in an amateur rugby union team’s full competitive season. The study appears online now in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences.
In addition to witnessed concussions where play was stopped, researchers noted the number of un-witnessed and un-reported concussions – a ratio of 3.4 concussions identified by the King-Devick Test for every witnessed concussion. The current rate is a ten-fold increase in the previously reported concussion injury rate.
“As a direct result of the findings using the King-Devick Test, the club has implemented a wider concussion awareness program to assist in identification and management of concussion for the upcoming season,” said Doug King, PhD (in no way related to the King-Devick Test) and senior author on the paper.
This study found the King-Devick Test to be a practical sideline concussion “remove from play” screening tool and useful in identifying players that had a concussive incident providing instant feedback to the player and team management on the sidelines in minutes. The test has the potential to be utilized with all contact and collision sports by coaches, team managers, athletic trainers or even parents. Other sideline tests were evaluated and the King-Devick Test was found to be a superior method due to the rapid assessment of concussed players in a limited time frame.
In addition, this study provides further evidence supporting previously published peer reviewed studies which confirmed the King-Devick Test as an objective, accurate “remove from play” sideline concussion screening test. And as in previous studies, the effects of fatigue were tested by all members of the premier rugby team related to their performance on the King-Devick Test and fatigue was determined to not be a factor.
The King-Devick Test is an objective two-minute test that involves an athlete reading single digit numbers on three test cards or an iPad and captures impairments of eye movement, attention, language and other symptoms of impaired brain function. The test is scored based on speed and accuracy and athletes who experience head trauma have an increase (worsening) in the time needed to complete the test compared to the athlete’s baseline time. In this study, concussed athletes scored an average of 4.5 seconds slower (worse) compared to their best baseline score.
About King-Devick Test
The King-Devick Test (K-D Test) was developed more than 25 years ago and has been used worldwide as a proven indicator of saccadic eye movements as they relates to reading ability and dyslexia. The test is an objective physical test based on the measurement of the speed and accuracy of Rapid Number Naming. It involves reading aloud a series of single digit numbers from left to right on three test cards. Subjects are asked to read the numbers on each test card from left to right as quickly as possible without making any errors. The sum of the three test card times constitutes the summary score for the entire test. The test can be administered in two minutes or less.
Other recent publications in Neurology and the Journal of the Neurological Sciences, have called the King-Devick Test an “accurate and reliable method for identifying athletes with head trauma.” In the Fall 2012, the Dave Duerson Foundation donated King-Devick concussion screening kits to all Chicago Public Schools’ high school football programs.
More information can be found at: www.kingdevicktest.com