Comparing Patient- and Clinician-Administered Near Point of Convergence After Concussion

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Objective: (1) To compare patient- and clinician-administered measurements of near point of convergence (NPC) distance including the percentage of patients exceeding clinical cutoffs among concussed adolescents and (2) to assess the reliability of patient- and clinician-measured NPC distances. Methods: A total of 762 patients (mean = 15.51, SD = 3.09 y) within 30 days of concussion participated. The NPC distance was measured consecutively with the patient and clinician controlling the fixation target. The differences between patient (PT) and clinician (CLIN) measurements and cases exceeding cutoffs (ie, ≥5 cm) were examined with a series of t tests and chi-square tests, respectively. Intraclass correlation coefficients and unbiased estimate of reliability were performed. Results: The NPC measurements were similar, t(761) = −.26, P = .79, between the PT (mean = 3.52, SD = 3.77 cm) and CLIN (mean = 3.54, SD = 3.97 cm) conditions. The number of measurements that exceeded cutoffs was similar among the PT (2.5%; 19/762) and CLIN conditions (3%; 23/762) (P = .10), and the number of measurements classified as abnormal/invalid was also similar among the PT (2.5%; 19/762) and CLIN conditions (3%; 23/762) (P = .10). There was excellent reliability between the methods (intraclass correlation coefficients = .85, unbiased estimate of reliability = .92). Conclusion: The findings support the application of this assessment in clinical settings where the clinician may not have direct contact with their patient and rely on the patient (eg, telehealth).

Stephenson and Elbin are with the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation/Office for Sport Concussion Research, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA. Womble, Gervase, Gustman, and Castor are with the Inova Sports Medicine Concussion Program, Fairfax, VA, USA. Eagle and Kontos are with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Schatz is with the Department of Psychology, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Elbin (rjelbin@uark.edu) is corresponding author.
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