Overview and Features of the ImPACT Test

ImPACT® (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the first, most-widely used, and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system. ImPACT was developed to provide useful information to assist qualified practitioners in making sound return to play decisions following concussions.

Developed in the early 1990's by Drs. Mark Lovell and Joseph Maroon, ImPACT is a 20-minute test that has become a standard tool used in comprehensive clinical management of concussions for athletes from age 10 through adulthood. ImPACT Applications, Inc. was co-founded by Mark Lovell, PhD, Joseph Maroon, MD, and Michael (Micky) Collins, PhD.

Given the inherent complexities of concussion management, it is important to manage concussions on an individualized basis and to implement baseline testing and/or post-injury neurocognitive testing whenever possible. Neurocognitive assessment can help to objectively evaluate the concussed athlete's post-injury condition and track recovery for safe return to play, thus preventing the cumulative effects of concussion. In fact, neurocognitive testing has been called the "cornerstone" of proper concussion management by an international panel of sports medicine experts.

ImPACT can be administered by an athletic trainer, school nurse, athletic director, team doctor or psychologist, provided that they have completed training in the administration of the test. Post-concussion care and the management of concussion should only be administered by professionals with specialized training in concussion management. ImPACT assists doctors in making return-to-play decisions and should never be used as a stand-alone tool or as a diagnostic instrument.

ImPACT is the most widely used computer-based testing program in the world and is implemented effectively across high school, collegiate, and professional levels of sport participation.

To schedule an ImPACT training session

Rachelle Giroux, R.N., manager of trauma services at Salina Regional Health Center, has been instrumental in leading the ImPACT testing initiative by educating local and regional coaches, trainers and physicians on the importance of ImPACT baseline testing and about the new School Sports Head Injury Prevention Act, which requires that schools educate athletes, parents and coaches about the dangers posed by concussions.

The law also requires that any athlete suffering or suspected of suffering a concussion be removed from play or practice immediately and requires written permission from a doctor to return to play or practice.

If you or your organization is interested in more information about ImPACT or would like to be trained please contact Rachelle Giroux, RN at 785-452-6655.