What Is the SCAT2?

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In our earlier Concussions 101 post, we looked at what concussions are, how they’re caused, some of their symptoms, and briefly covered the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (SCAT2).

Not long after our summer 2012 launch of the mobile version of Presagia Sports, we added an integrated SCAT2 to enable our customers to leverage this widely used concussion assessment tool anywhere via their smartphone or tablet. Since then, our customers have benefited from being able to perform baseline assessments and evaluate their athletes for possible concussions when they occur, whether during a practice or at a game. Through our own research, we found the SCAT2 to be one of the most straight forward and accurate methods for assessing concussions, but what exactly is it?

In 2008, at the Third International Conference on Concussion in Sport in Zurich, Switzerland, a group of experts published a concussion evaluation tool to implement a standardized assessment methodology, the SCAT2. It was an updated form of the original SCAT published in 2005 after the second conference held in Prague, Czech Republic.

The intent of the SCAT, a two page assessment, was to create a standardized tool that could be used for patient education and physician assessments of sports-related concussions. Developed by combining eight different evaluation forms from varied international organizations, it was seen as an “initial mandate” by its authors. Just a few years later, the SCAT2 surpassed its predecessor.

The SCAT2 consists of a series of questions and tests, each of which is scored. It includes a “how do you feel” questionnaire, the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) response test, the Maddocks sideline questions, balance and coordination tests, as well as the Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC) which gauges orientation, memory and concentration. The individual scores are then combined to obtain a set of overall scores indicating the number and severity of symptoms. When the assessment is done on paper- usually lasting 15 to 20 minutes - the examiner must manually calculate the individual and overall scores.

In the days or weeks following a serious concussion, repeated SCAT2 assessments may be conducted to measure the athlete’s progress of recovery.
Since its publication, it has become accepted as the standard diagnosis for sports related concussions. The NFL (National Football League) has created a league specific adaptation of it and it is regularly used by the NHL (National Hockey League).

In our next post, we’ll look at some of the specific benefits of integrating the SCAT2 within an Athlete Electronic Health Record (EHR) system and why we chose to do so in Presagia Sports. If you’d like more information about the SCAT2 in the meantime, download a free copy of our whitepaper Keep Their Heads in the Game: Manage Concussion Assessments like a Pro with the SCAT2.

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