Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Athletic Training (MAT)

Degree Name

Health and Human Performance (Athletic Training Program Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Health and Human Performance

Committee Chair

Dr. Valerie Moody

Commitee Members

Madelyn Boyle, Scott Richter


Concussion Screening, Sideline Screening, Concussion, SCAT3, VOMS


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Sports Medicine | Sports Sciences


This paper serves as a primer to healthcare professionals of the now and future of sideline screening for concussion. In the past decade, significant research into sports-related concussions has expanded understanding of what is as a very complex injury. As the definition of concussion has evolved, the impact they have is put into perspective. As more research into the short- and long-term effects of concussions brings to light the effects of continuing to participate after suffering a concussion, the importance of keeping concussed athletes off the field is now understood as a potential life or death situation. With the dangers of continuing to play after concussion becoming apparent there has been a renewed emphasis on tools and/or techniques that screen for symptoms of concussion. Some of the most widespread include, but are not limited to, the Standardized Assessment for Concussion (SAC), the Balance Error Scoring System (BESS), the Sideline Concussion Assessment Tool 3rd Edition (SCAT3) and King-Devick Test (KDT). This paper will explore the benefits, limitations, and implementation of each of these assessment tools.

A crucial part of improving rates of concussion recognition is to look at what has been developed based on the most current understanding of concussions. As more attention has been drawn to the potential dangers of concussions and repeated sub-concussive blows there has been a surge in funding and studies regarding current and developing technique’s and tools. This paper examines tools recently implemented or under development and explores their potential benefits, limitations and availability. These include Vestibular-Ocular Motor Screening (VOMS), force plate balance testing and blood tests for proteins associated with injury to the brain. The paper concludes with a discussion of the benefits, limitations and reliability of each test. Recommendations are made for developing a sideline concussion screening protocol.



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