To investigate the use of the King-Devick (K-D) test for sideline assessment of concussive injuries in a New Zealand amateur women's rugby union team.
Prospective cohort observational.
All players were K-D tested during pre-season using a tablet (iPad; Apple Inc., Cupertino, CA). Differences in K-D scores and test-retest reliability were calculated for baseline test scores, baseline, and post-injury (concussion) sideline assessment and baseline and post-season testing scores for tests by year and as a combined score.
One training-related (0.3 per 1000 training-hrs) and nine match-related (16.1 per 1000 match-hrs) concussions were recorded. The K-D post-injury (concussion) sideline test score were significantly slower than established baseline (−4.4 [−5.8 to −3.4] s; χ 2 (1) = 42.2; p < 0.0001; t (9) = −4.0; p = 0.0029; d = −0.8). There was good-to-excellent reliability of the K-D test for baseline (ICC: 0.84 to 0.89), post-injury (concussion) sideline assessment (ICC: 0.82 to 0.97) and post-season evaluation (ICC: 0.79 to 0.83).
By utilising the baseline to post-injury (concussion) assessment comparisons, any player with a post-injury (concussion) assessment slowing of their K-D test time, regardless of whether the player has, or has not had a witnessed insult, should be withheld from any further participation until they are evaluated by a medical professional trained in the management of concussion.
This study has provided additional evidence to support the use of the K-D test as a frontline method of assessing concussion with good to excellent reliability of the test for baseline, side-line assessment and post-season evaluation.