To provide preseason reference scores for Canadian youth tackle football players on the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 5 (SCAT5) and to examine whether age, concussion history, and self-reported medical diagnoses are associated with SCAT5 subcomponent performance.
Cross-sectional study.
Calgary, Alberta.
Five hundred one male youth football players (ages 13-18 years) participating in the 2021 season.
SCAT5 subcomponents were assessed by age group (13-14, 15-16, 17-18), concussion history (0, 1, 2+, and yes/no), and self-reported diagnoses (headache disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder, learning disability/dyslexia, and depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric disorder).
Virtual video administration (vs traditional in-person testing) of the SCAT5 was completed, and subcomponent scores included total number of symptoms (/22), symptom-severity score (/132), Standardized Assessment of Concussion [orientation (/5), immediate memory (/30), concentration (/5), delayed recall (/10)], and modified Balance Error Scoring System (/30). Kruskal-Wallis, one-way analysis of variance , Mann-Whitney U, or independent t tests were used to assess possible associations depending on number of groups and data normality.
Virtual SCAT5 assessment scores across all outcomes did not differ by age group or concussion history. The median number of symptoms and median symptom-severity score at baseline was 2, and 173 players (34.5%) reported no symptoms. Median total number of errors on the modified Balance Error Scoring System was 3. Participants with certain self-reported diagnoses (attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder, dyslexia) demonstrated poorer performance on some SCAT5 subcomponents (symptom reporting, Standardized Assessment of Concussion).
Baseline SCAT5 performance did not differ by age group or concussion history in male youth football players. Diagnoses of the self-reported disorders examined may be important considerations for interpretation of the SCAT5 assessment.

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