Frequently Asked Questions
Please read through the following frequently asked questions regarding baseline testing.
Q: WHAT IS AN ImPACT® TEST?
A: ImPACT® (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the most widely used and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system. An ImPACT® test takes approximately 30 minutes and is designed to evaluate and document multiple aspects of an athlete’s neurocognitive state, which includes brain processing speed, memory, and visual motor skills.
Q: WHO CAN ADMINISTER AN ImPACT® BASELINE TEST?
A: The ImPACT® baseline test can be administered by any trained personnel. The administrator needs to have taken the test and be familiar with the testing protocol. Administrators can include but are not limited to athletic trainers, physicians, nurses, neuropsychologists, physical therapists, physical therapy aides, psychologists, coaches, and athletic directors.
Q: WHAT IS BASELINE TESTING?
A: Baseline testing is used to establish a benchmark score when an athlete or patient is in their non-concussed or “normal” state. Ideally this should occur before the athletic season begins. This baseline test is valid for up to two years. It should be noted that a BASELINE test does not evaluate your athlete for a concussion, identify past concussions, prevent future concussions or determine if the patient or athlete is predisposed to a concussion.
Q: MY CHILD RECENTLY SUSTAINED A CONCUSSION, SHOULD HE OR SHE TAKE PART IN BASELINE TESTING?
A: If your child is still recovering from a concussion they should not be given a baseline test. Instead, your child can follow up with a qualified healthcare provider who can provide a thorough concussion assessment.
Q: MY CHILD HAS TAKEN A BASELINE ImPACT® TEST AND HAS NOW SUSTAINED A CONCUSSION. WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?
A: If your child sustains a concussion, remove them from any physical activity and contact your child’s pediatrician, primary care physician or other healthcare professional experienced in
evaluating concussions. Your child should not return to play or physical activity until clearance is given by one of the medical professionals mentioned above.
Q: HOW DO I OBTAIN A COPY OF MY ATHLETE’S BASELINE TEST
A: The results of the baseline test are not needed until an athlete has suffered a concussion and the healthcare provider overseeing their care has requested this information. If you need to obtain a copy of an athlete’s baseline test, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. These baseline results will be sent free of charge.
Q: IF MY CHILD SUSTAINS A CONCUSSION, WILL THEIR POST-CONCUSSION TEST BE COVERED BY INSURANCE?
A: Post-injury neurocognitive assessments are covered by some major insurance plans. You will need to contact the individual healthcare provider to verify they accept your insurance carrier.
Q: WHO SHOULD INTERPRET THE POST-CONCUSSION TEST RESULTS?
A: Post-concussion ImPACT® tests are best completed in the presence of a physician trained to administer and interpret the results. Due to this, Athletico Physical Therapy clinics do not offer
any post-concussion ImPACT® testing. Physicians can be trained through a course offered by ImPACT® where they to learn to interpret the test results. A physician that holds this certification is known as an official Certified ImPACT® Consultant (CIC). A CIC is an ImPACT® partner with the education, training, and experience that comes with completing the credentialed ImPACT® Consultant Program. For assistance with finding a CIC testing site near you, please visit https://concussioncareproviders.com.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE POST-INJURY TEST RESULTS ARE INTERPRETED?
A: A post-injury test should be interpreted only by a properly trained healthcare provider. Specialized training is required. If the post-injury test results suggest the athlete is not fully recovered, additional recommendations will be made and he/she will not be allowed to return to contact practice or play. An additional test may be completed, based on the recommendation of your healthcare provider
REMEMBER: ImPACT® test results should be used as only one source of information regarding the athlete’s level of functioning. Diagnostic or return-to-play decisions should be based on an evaluation by medical personnel in accordance with usual and standard medical practices.