Objective: To examine neuropsychological test differences following concussion between collegiate athletes screening positive and negative for depression. Method: Participants included 113 (91 male) college athletes, who were assessed at baseline and following diagnosis of sport-related concussion (SRC). The Beck Depression Inventory-Fast Screen was used as a screener for depression. Athletes were categorized as either depressed (≥4) or nondepressed (<4) following injury and compared on composites for memory and attention-processing speed. Groups were also compared on reliable change index scores from baseline, as well as on proportion of impaired scores. Results: Depressed athletes performed significantly worse than did nondepressed athletes on the Memory Composite (p = .04, d = .51) but not on the Attention-Processing Speed Composite score (p = .15, d = .46). Chi-square tests indicated that, compared with nondepressed athletes, a significantly higher number of depressed athletes showed reliable decreases on the following test indices: Verbal Memory Composite of the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (p = .03, ϕ = .21), Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised Total (p = .02, ϕ = .22), and Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised Total (p = .05, ϕ = .19). Chi-square test indicated that, compared with nondepressed athletes, a significantly higher proportion of depressed athletes met criteria for impairment (p = .02, ϕ = .23). Conclusion: Whether examining the data at the intraindividual or group level, there are memory deficits associated with the combination of an SRC and depression. The results highlight the importance of screening for depression to provide a more complete picture of an individual's functioning postconcussion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology