Understanding racial differences in computerized neurocognitive test performance and symptom-reporting to deliver culturally competent patient-centered care for sport-related concussion
OBJECTIVE: This study examined neurocognitive performance and symptoms between concussed Black and White collegiate athletes at baseline, post-injury, and change from baseline to post-injury. METHOD: The Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (ImPACT) was used to measure neurocognitive performance and four concussion symptom clusters for 235 concussed collegiate athletes. Between-groups differences were documented at baseline and post-injury, along with change in scores for sex/race, and sport/race groups, using ANOVAs. Baseline scores, and days-to-post-test were covariates in post-injury comparisons. Symptom endorsement by race was evaluated using chi-square analyses. RESULTS: At baseline, group comparisons by race and sex showed that Black male/female athletes scored lower on reaction time (RT; = .008), White females scored higher on verbal memory (VerbMem; = .001), Black females scored lower on visual motor processing speed (VMS; = .001), and Black football athletes scored slower/poorer on RT ( = .001) and VMS ( = .006). Post-injury, Black males scored lower on visual memory (VisMem; .005) and VMS ( = .002), and Black football athletes scored slower on VMS ( = .005), whereas White non-football athletes scored higher on VerbMem ( = .002) and reported fewer symptoms. Significant time-by-sport/race interactions were found for VerbMem ( < .001), VisMem ( < .001) and reported symptoms. With respect to post-injury symptom scores/endorsement, Black athletes scored significantly higher for physical ( = .01) and sleep ( = .01) symptoms. CONCLUSION: These findings drive the conversation of how subjective measures of symptoms, and objective clinical concussion measures, may relate to the concussion recovery process and providing a culturally competent clinical management approach for diverse patients.