Validity of the ImPACT Post-Concussion Symptom Scale (PCSS) Affective Symptom Cluster as a Screener for Depression in Collegiate Athletes

Kaitlin E. Riegler, Erin T. Guty, Peter A. Arnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The relationship between depression and sports-related concussion is complex and has implications both pre- and post-injury. The current study established the construct validity, convergent and discriminant, of the affective symptom cluster of The Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (ImPACT) post-concussion symptom scale (PCSS) as a screening tool for depression. Method: Nine hundred and thirty (M = 695, F = 235) college athletes were assessed at baseline using the ImPACT PCSS and Beck-Depression Inventory-Fast Screen (BDI-FS). Previous factor analysis identified four symptom clusters on the PCSS: affective, physical, cognitive, and sleep. Clinically significant depression was operationalized as a BDI-FS score ≥4. Receiver Operating Characteristic curves (ROC) were used to determine the ideal cutoff, Chi-square tests of independence were calculated to establish convergent validity, and Fisher's r-to-z comparisons were used to establish discriminant validity of the affective symptom cluster. Results: The 90th percentile cutoff yielded the highest sensitivity and specificity on the affective symptom cluster for males (4) and females (6). The correlation between BDI-FS and the 90th percentile cutoff was statistically significantly higher in females (φ =. 96) than males (φ =. 83), Z = 9.49, p <. 001. When correlating the BDI-FS with each PCSS symptom cluster, the correlation with the affective symptom cluster was stronger than its correlation with cognitive, sleep, and physical clusters across gender. Discussion: By utilizing a measure of depression within an existing and commonly used assessment, clinicians can easily screen for depression and identify athletes at risk for complicated recovery even in the absence of a supplemental depression assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-574
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Clinical Neuropsychology
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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