Accolades from Rus Bauer, Ph.D.
Breton Asken, M.S., ATC won the “Best Poster” Award at the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Sports Neuropsychology Society in Atlanta Georgia. His poster was entitled, “Baseline Test Performance and Days to Return-to-Contact: Implications for the Lack of Effectiveness of ‘Sandbagging'” (co-authors J.R. Clugston and R.M. Bauer). The paper presented data debunking the widely-held belief that scoring lower on pre-concussion (baseline) testing results in a more rapid return-to-contact after concussion. Many sports concussion professionals believe that athletes may purposefully score low on baseline measures (i.e., may “sandbag” the baseline testing session) because, if they suffer mild cognitive changes after a concussion, they will return to their lower baselines more quickly, and thus be able to return to contact sooner after the concussion. Despite an appropriately powered analysis, Breton’s data found no relationship between baseline performance level and the number of post-concussion days ensuing before return-to-contact was authorized. This has significant implications for concussion management, particularly in organized sports programs that have formal concussion management plans.
The Sports Neuropsychology Society is a professional group of approximately 250 members that is dedicated to the advancement of science and practice in neuropsychological aspects of sports, including concussion management and treatment. Asken’s poster was judged as the top poster from among 45 posters from around the US and Canada addressing a variety of topics in the field.