Healthy Youth Are Reliable in Reporting Symptoms on a Graded Symptom Scale

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation

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Brandy J. Mailer
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Tamara C. Valovich McLeod
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R. Curtis Bay
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Clinicians often rely on the self-report symptoms of patients in making clinical decisions; hence it is important that these scales be reliable.


To determine the test-retest reliability of healthy youth in completing a graded symptom scale (GSS), modified from the Head Injury Scale Self-Report Concussion Symptoms Scale (HIS).




Middle school classroom.

Patients or Other Participants:

126 middle school students.


A survey consisting of a demographic and life events questionnaire and a GSS asking about symptom severity and duration.

Main Outcomes Measures:

Score for each symptom on the severity and duration scale and a total symptom score (TSS) and the total number of symptoms endorsed (TSE) from the severity scale. Responses on a life events questionnaire were also recorded.


We found excellent reliability for TSS (ICC = .93) and TSE (ICC = .88) for the severity scale. We found moderate to excellent reliability on the individual symptoms of both the severity (ICC = .65-.89) and duration (ICC =.56-.96) scales.


Healthy youth can reliably self-report symptoms using a GSS. This patient-oriented outcome measure should be incorporated into more investigations in this age group.

Brandy Mailer is with Linfield College in McMinnville OR. Tamara Valovich McLeod is with the Athletic Training Program at Arizona School of Health Sciences, A.T. Still University, Mesa. R. Curtis Bay is with the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences at A.T. Still University.

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